Body of Emily Lu found, suspect facing murder charge

The body of 72-year-old Emily Lu, of Lorton, Virginia, has been found, 51 days after she disappeared.

Lu was seen on June 3, shopping at an Aldi store in Woodbridge. Her car was later found at her home in Lorton, with her items still inside.

One of her tenants, Brian George Sayrs Jr., is under arrest and has been charged with second-degree murder and felony concealment of a body in the case, as first reported by Dateline NBC.

Fairfax County police say Sayrs called them on Friday night and asked to meet. He then led them to the location of the body.

Sayrs is being held at the Adult Detention Center without bond.

Lu’s body was found lying in a wooded area in Lorton, near Dudley Drive and Laurel Crest Drive, about 2 miles from her home —  where Sayrs was living at the time, according to Fairfax County police.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis and Major Ed O’Carroll held a news conference Saturday morning.

Major O’Carroll said Sayrs called police Friday night and led them to the wooded area, where detectives located Lu’s body. Chief Davis said police had focused in on Sayrs and were working toward a bodiless murder warrant against him when Sayrs called.

Police had spoken with Sayrs about Lu’s disappearance several times, Chief David said.

“I was pretty adamant that we believed Emily’s killer was not a stranger, it was someone in her life,” O’Carroll said.

A $20,000 reward was offered for anyone with information in Lu’s disappearance.

Davis was asked if Sayrs’ “guilty conscience” prompted him to make the call after several weeks.

“He knew he was our person of interest and for whatever reason … and hopefully we’ll eventually know the answer to that but I’m glad that we did because we owe this moment to Emily Lu’s family,” Davis said.

A map of where Lu’s body was located is below:


John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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