Police: Tourist’s beating death may be related to other assaults

WASHINGTON – D.C. police say the death of a tourist in a residential section of Northwest D.C. may be connected to two nonfatal attacks in the following 26 hours in the same neighborhood.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Thursday that all three victims suffered head trauma and appear to have been attacked suddenly and without provocation. Lanier says there’s no apparent motive for the attacks and no similarity between the victims other than they were walking alone.

The tourist, 66-year-old Gary Dederichs of Denver, was killed Tuesday night. The other two victims were a 53-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman. They were seriously injured and remain hospitalized.

“We have three different incidents in a very small radius, about a ten block radius,” Lanier says.

Police say there isn’t any evidence Dederichs was targeted because he was a tourist.

Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information in the apparent beating death of Dederichs, who was found in a Petworth neighborhood alley.

Dederichs was a retired nurse from Denver who had rented a room in the neighborhood while in D.C. on a two-week sightseeing tour, according to investigators.

Police have not ruled out robbery as a motive. Lieutenant Robert Alder told NBC 4 it’s rare for tourists to be victims of such a violent crime.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP and the Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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