Police: Don’t Fear the Woman in the White Sheet

Fairfax County Police Have you seen a woman lying down in public under a white sheet near the Reston Regional Library?

Many Restonians have, and that is why officers from the FCPD’s Reston District Station are speaking out about it.

“We get about a dozen calls a day about this person,” says Reston Crime Prevention Officer Katy Defoe. “She is not a danger to herself or the community.”

The woman can often be seen lying down in public areas (sidewalks, medians) in recent months in the Reston area, Defoe said. Sometimes the woman is covered in a white sheet and may appear agitated or shaky.

Police, as well as human services agency representatives in Fairfax County are familiar with the woman and have routine contact and conversation with her. Her behaviors are not “illegal” or criminal in nature, police said.

The Reston District Station is asking the public to respect the privacy of the woman, who has become known as “the lady under the sheet” or the “white sheet lady.”

Defoe said the woman is staying at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter and is receiving county services. She is a recent transfer from the South County district, where she was well-known for the same behaviors. The woman was once hit by a car when she was lying in the street, Defoe said.

Police said to please contact them at (703) 478-0904 if you witness any unusual behavior felt to be a public safety danger, such as lying in the street.

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