Person of interest identified in case of Lorton woman missing since early June

Fairfax County police said Thursday that they have identified a person of interest in the case of a missing Lorton, Virginia, woman last seen June 3.

Seventy-two-year-old Emily Lu has been missing for 42 days as of Thursday. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information. Police said foul play is suspected in her disappearance.

Maj. Ed O’Carroll, head of the Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics Bureau, said authorities would not yet name the person of interest.

“Although I cannot and will not identify the person of interest, I can share with you it’s more than a hunch,” O’Carroll told reporters. “We do not believe that the foul play that resulted in Miss Lu’s disappearance was random or committed by a person unknown to her.”

Police Chief Kevin Davis did confirm that the person of interest is male.

“Our person of interest knows that he’s a person of interest. He knows,” Davis said.

“Our biggest concern is the integrity of the investigation … so beyond the arrest is a criminal prosecution of this person. And we want to put the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in the best position to successfully prosecute.”

A source told WTOP’s Neal Augenstein that a piece of clothing was recently recovered in Lu’s backyard after investigating the people who live in the house. In addition, evidence has been found in the spot where they were researching the woods Thursday, a half-mile from Lu’s home.

O’Carroll said they’ve been expanding their search area, adding, “I’m very confident I’ll be standing before you with much different remarks on where this case will go.”

He said authorities are also searching outside of Virginia.

Lu was last seen at the Aldi in Gordon Plaza, in Woodbridge, at about 8 p.m. the night before police went looking for her, the police said. They’ve posted a video:

Lu did not show up for work on Friday, June 4. Her boss called police and asked officers to check on her, and they went to her home on Davis Lane at about 2:30 p.m.

They found her car, with some groceries inside it, but she wasn’t there. Lu’s neighbors hadn’t seen her; Lu’s family told the police about an address in Belle Haven she frequents, but she wasn’t there, either.

Detectives found evidence Lu “may have been harmed” inside her home, police said.

Police are asking anyone with more information to call them at 703-246-7800, option 6. You can also submit a tip anonymously by calling Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by texting “FCCS” plus your tip to 847411, or online.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein and Rick Massimo contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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