Investigators: ‘Several leads’ in murder of woman found shot in car

The parents of Heather Ciccone have her photo in a scrapbook, after her murder, Sunday. (Photo NBC Washington)
Officials released an image of a car involved in the death investigation. (Courtesy Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office)

WASHINGTON — Investigators in Spotsylvania County, Virginia say they have “several leads” and “lots of tips” in the shooting death of 21-year-old Heather Ciccone, who was found Sunday night, dead in her car in the driveway of a home.

Officials released an image of a car involved in the death investigation. Click on the image to see it in full size on the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. (Courtesy Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office)

Ciccone was shot in the back of the head with a small-caliber pistol, the sheriff’s office told the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. She was found slumped over the wheel of her 2010 Kia at the end of a driveway on Piney Branch Road. Investigators say there is no connection between Ciccone’s death and the owners of the home.

Captain Jeff Pearce, of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office says detectives recovered useful evidence from Ciccone’s car, without elaborating.

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office wants to hear from you if you saw Ciccone’s car that evening before the crime.

The Silver 2010 Kia may have attracted your attention because of what was written in white on the rear windshield: “I heart you” and a small smileyface.

Wednesday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office released a flyer with photos of the car and the message in the rear window.

Ciccone’s sister told a Richmond television station her sister had recently received death threats.

Pearces says investigators are aware of the reported threats.

“No one is a person of interest at the moment,” says Pearce. “We’re not focused on any one aspect or any person.”

Pearce says investigators will solve the case, “but there’s a lot to be done, and it’s going to take some time.”

Police said Thursday that they had found Ciccone’s cellphone, and that detectives were following up on information recovered from the phone.

Ciccone’s parents are heartbroken over their daughter’s murder.

“Why would you take my little girl away from me?” Ciccone’s mother, said in a Tuesday interview with NBC Washington.

Ciccone told her mother she was leaving the house Sunday night, to help a friend whose car broke down.

After finding Ciccone’s car, with her body inside, investigators knocked on her parents’ door at 2 a.m.

“It’s hard to put in perspective until it really happens to you,” Ciccone’s father, Dennis, told NBC Washington.

A candlelight vigil will be held Wednesday night, at 6 p.m., at Harrison Road Park, in Spotsylvania County.

Pearce has said there is no connection between Ciccone’s death, and the disappearance of 19-year-old Katelin Akens, who was last seen after being dropped off near a Metro station.

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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