Ten years to the day have passed since Nancy Dunning, a well-liked real estate agent and wife of the local sheriff was shot to death in her Alexandria, Va., home and police there still say they have never found a “viable suspect” in the mysterious slaying.
At the time of her murder on Dec. 5, 2003, police believed that Dunning (pictured) was targeted by someone she knew.
On November 11 of this year, another prominent Alexandria resident, top transportation official Ronald Kirby, 69, was found dead in his home in similar circumstances — shot to death with no sign of forced entry, and no suspect in the case three weeks later.
“There is no reason today to think that those two cases are connected,” said Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook at a press conference earlier this week.
Cook said earlier that police did not know whether Kirby had been deliberately targeted by his killer, but he did say that the still-unsolved murder should not be “cause for tremedous alarm” among Kirby’s neighbors.
As director of planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Kirby played a key role in creating transportation policies for the area in and around the nation’s capital.
Both victims, a decade apart, were apparently killed during the daytime, their bodies found shortly after the lunch hour.
Kirby was last seen alive early in the morning of his death. Dunning was picked up by a surveillance camera leaving a Target store.
At the time, police investigated a man who was seen leaving the store at the same time, but that lead went nowhere.
The investigation into Dunning’s murder is still active, Cook said. The latest lead detective, who assumed the case less than a year ago, now has solving it as his top priority, said the police chief.
"You don't always have the 'ah ha' moment,” Cook said. “We hope to get it,"