Prince Georges County police have found the man responsible for the murders of Ebony and Delores DeWitt and Karen and Karissa Lofton. The bodies of the DeWitts were found in January 2009 in a burning car and the bodies of the Loftons were found in March 2009.
By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 20, 2010; B01
Prince George’s County police detectives said they think they have a man in custody who is responsible for the slayings of two mother-daughter pairs in the Largo area last year, said sources familiar with the investigation.
The man is a stranger to the victims, and the sources said there was no obvious motive for the killings, making them think that he is a serial killer. Detectives are investigating whether the man might be tied to other unsolved slayings in the area.
The man has not been charged in the mother-daughter killings, the sources said. Authorities are making sure they have a good case and need not hurry because the man is in prison on other charges, they said. The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing, declined to name the suspect.
Police are saying that the suspect could be a serial criminal. He might also be responsible for the murder of a woman in Bowie, MD and crimes in other states.
By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 21, 2010; A01
The man responsible for the slayings of two mothers and their daughters in the Largo area last year is a crafty serial killer who pored through books about forensic science to learn how to clean up his crime scenes and intentionally changed his killing methods to confuse detectives, law enforcement sources close to the investigation said.
He holds two master’s degrees and was so good that he duped an FBI profiler into concluding that the killings were unrelated, the sources said. And long after he is brought to trial, Prince George’s Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton predicted, he will be remembered as “one of America’s most infamous killers.”
For now, at least, he is behind bars on unrelated charges.
“This case before you, I think, is going to be a case study for many law enforcement agencies in the future,” Hylton said Tuesday, delivering his first public remarks about the suspect. “This was an individual that was very well read, a studious person, that studied the policing system, knew the policing system, knew about his craft.”
The man, who is 27 and is being held on federal weapons and sex charges, has not been charged with the Largo killings. Hylton and other police officials declined to name him because he has not been charged. But Hylton said he expects the man to be indicted within the month in connection with the killings of Delores Dewitt, 42, and her 20-year-old daughter, Ebony. Their bodies were found March 16, 2009, in a burning car in Largo that had been stolen that day.
Hylton said the devastation may extend well beyond that. Detectives also think the man is responsible for the slayings of Karen Lofton, 45, and her 16-year-old daughter, Karissa, who were found shot in their locked home Jan. 26, 2009. And detectives are investigating whether he might be responsible for a 2008 killing in which a Bowie woman was shot before her home was set ablaze. He also is being investigated in connection with other crimes in the Washington area and as far away as Texas and Florida, Hylton and law enforcement sources said.
“He’s a serial killer,” Hylton said.
Prince Georges County Police Chief Roberto Hylton has stated that there is plenty of evidence against the suspect who grew up in the same neighborhood as the DeWitts and Loftons. He is also described as highly educated with 2 degrees and held a job with a delivery company. The suspect is currently behind bars on federal charges.
I blogged about these murders last year. I first heard about a break in the cases on the news Monday morning. I was wondering what was going on with these two cases and hoping that it wouldn’t turn into a cold case.
This week the Washington Post has featured a couple of articles about the Largo murders of Delores & Ebony Dewitt and Karen & Karissa Lofton. Tuesday’s paper featured a front page story about whether there’s a link between the two murders.
‘Everybody’s a Person of Interest,’ Police Chief Says As Investigators, Residents Grapple With Homicides
By Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
A chill went down Courtney Hicks’s back when she arrived at her family’s Largo home after 10 p.m. The lights were on, her sister’s jacket was by the door and her mother’s car was in the driveway. Everything seemed in place that March 15 night — except that when she called out, no one answered.
Hicks, 17, said the hair on her neck stood up, the same way it had in the fall when she found the small two-story house burglarized. She turned on every light. She checked her mother’s and sister’s rooms, then left and began frantically calling their cellphones. About 2 a.m., she returned to find the lights still on and the house still empty.
Two hours later, as Hicks worried, police found two bodies in a burning car nearby, one in the back seat and the other in the trunk. Authorities identified them later as Hicks’s sister Ebony Dewitt, 20, and mother, Delores Dewitt, 42.
“I thought for sure something had gone wrong,” said Hicks, a student at Prince George’s County Community College. “But I never thought in a million years that it would be the outcome that it was.”
The possibility that the killings of the Dewitts are linked to the slayings of another mother and daughter — Karen and Karissa Lofton, found shot in their Largo home in January — has prompted Prince George’s County police to assign more than two dozen investigators to those cases.
Connected or not, detectives say each set of killings is baffling in its own right. The absence of an obvious suspect or motive — an angry ex-boyfriend, a drug deal gone bad — has made the slayings more unsettling for residents than any in years in Prince George’s.
“This is so bizarre,” Police Chief Roberto Hylton said of the two sets of killings. “Everybody’s a person of interest.”
The entire article can be read here.
Today’s Post has a front page story in the Prince Georges’s EXTRA. This article also talks about the link between the two murder cases, interviews with family members including Karen Lofton’s ex-husband and additional information about Karen and Karissa. This article places more emphasis on the Loftons.
Slayings of Second Pair Redirect Investigation
Attention Reverts to Case Of Mother and Daughter Who Were Killed in January
By Aaron C. Davis and William Wan
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 26, 2009; PG01
The fear and mystery surrounding two Prince George’s County mother-daughter homicides began two months ago today, when police found the bodies of Karen and Karissa Lofton in their home in a quiet Largo area neighborhood.
Whether their deaths are found to be linked to the killings last week of Delores and Ebony Dewitt, whose bodies were found burned in a stolen car less than a mile away, the similarities between the victims have refocused attention on the Loftons.
Their family members and friends said they have struggled to accept their loved ones’ sudden and brutal deaths.
“The wounds are still very deep,” said Karen Price of Lanham, a sister-in-law of Karen Lofton’s. “We’re all still reeling from their deaths. We want this case resolved so badly.”
The case will be the subject of an episode of “America’s Most Wanted,” possibly this weekend, said Karen Lofton’s ex-husband, Kirkland Lofton Sr. He has been working through a relative with John Walsh, the host of the long-running TV show, to feature the Jan. 26 killings of Karen, 45, and Karissa, 16.
The show posted a story about the slayings on its Web site last week and has filmed a segment in the victims’ home in the 10800 block of Southall Drive. A candlelight vigil will be held in front of the house tonight at 8, Lofton said.
Family members and friends said the shooting deaths of the school nurse and teenager who loved fashion and modeling cut short the lives of a mother and daughter who had much to offer.
Karen Lofton, who sometimes used her maiden name, Sherill, had just started working at Lake Arbor Elementary School in Mitchellville. She worked one day, according to a school employee who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, and never returned for orientation. The school later got a call that Lofton had been found dead.
Karissa, a junior at Riverdale Baptist High School in Upper Marlboro, was an aspiring model and fashion designer who had recently enrolled in the Girls of Character program at Woodstream Church of Mitchellville, where the family worshipped before switching to Hosanna Ministries in the District.
Click here to read the entire article.
When the Loftons were murdered some folks wondered if they knew the murderer since the front door was locked. Karissa was able to call 911 but apparently she wasn’t able to identify who shot her and her mother. I will be relieved when they catch the murderer(s). It’s an uneasy feeling knowing that some murdering fool is running loose in the area.