Detectives probe relationships in murders of Loudoun Co. mother, son

ALDIE, Va. — Detectives investigating the murders of Mala Manwani and her 32-year-old son, Rishi, were back inside their home Friday on quiet Tomey Court, viewing physical evidence and trying to understand what happened before the two were found dead of multiple gunshots late Wednesday.

“We’re trying to narrow the timeline,” said Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators have not named any suspects in the homicides.

Sheriff Mike Chapman said Thursday the last known contact was late Monday afternoon, when Mala, 55, was in touch with her employer by email.

However, investigators are trying to determine whether Rishi spoke with or saw anyone between Monday evening and when the pair were discovered.

“We still don’t know his last contacts,” Troxell said. “We’re checking social media and telephone records.”

Chapman said investigators believe the mother and son were targeted.

“We suspect it was related to potentially criminal activity that was going on inside the residence,” but wouldn’t specify what activity.

When asked whether drugs were found in the home, Chapman declined to answer.

Chapman confirmed Rishi Manwani’s older brother, Raj, died of a heroin overdose in 2015, in Fairfax County.

Yellow crime scene tape remained surrounding the brick front home Friday afternoon, with one car parked in the driveway and another in the garage.

Chapman said there was no forced entry into the home, but the front door was locked when deputies arrived Wednesday afternoon to check on Mala Manwani’s welfare, after her worried coworkers reported she hadn’t been at work for two days.

The sheriff said it was possible whoever shot the Manwanis was let into the home, and pulled the door shut in the locked position.

Investigators have not pinpointed the exact time they believe the mother and son were killed. No neighbors reported hearing multiple gunshots.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s office asked anyone with any information that is possibly related to the double homicide but want to remain anonymous to contact Loudoun Crime Solvers. If the information leads to an arrest and indictment, the caller is entitled to a cash reward.

WTOP’s Patrick Roth contributed to this report.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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