Police said today (Wednesday) a man in prison in Wise County, Virginia, has confessed to two more murders.
Fairfax County Police Department said Charles W. Helem, 52, confessed to the 1987 murder and provided details only the killer would know, involving the death of 37-year-old Eige Sober-Adler.
A grand jury indicted Helem yesterday (Tuesday), Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said.
“We will now pursue a vigorous prosecution of Mr. Helem,” Descano said.
Sober-Adler was found deceased in a field to the rear of a Days Inn on Centreville Road in Herndon, and her vehicle was found on the Dulles Toll Road at the time.
“Thirty five years later, we stand before the community to say we have an indictment,” FCPD Major Ed O’Carroll said.
Her car was found in running condition and appeared to be abandoned, he said.
“There will probably always be some questions that are unanswered,” O’Carroll said.
Police also announced that Helem, who is an inmate at Red Onion State Prison, confessed to another murder in Maryland in 2002, involving 19-year-old Jennifer Landry, of Massachusetts.
Prince George’s County Chief of Police Malik Aziz said Helem sent letters to law enforcement in 2010 and 2017, indicating he had information on the case, but he initially declined to talk to detectives.
Eventually, he verbally confessed in 2021 to killing Landry and also spoke about an unsolved Fairfax County case, which led to yesterday’s indictment, Aziz said.
Detectives confronted him in prison.
Previously, a jury convicted Helem for the 2002 murder of 37-year-old Patricia Bentley of Fairfax County. An appeal court upheld the conviction in 2008.
Chief Kevin Davis said they’re working to determine if he was involved in other cases.
Herndon resident Nathaniel Haldenstein, 24, has been charged with second-degree murder after police found a body last night, the Herndon Police Department announced today (Monday).
The police department said at 8:38 p.m. yesterday (Sunday) that officers were in the 100 block of Laurel Way investigating what appeared to be a homicide where one victim had died.
“A person of interest is in custody,” the HPD said at that time. “Preliminary investigation indicates there is no threat to public. Avoid area.”
According to Herndon police, officers received a call just before 5 p.m. on Sunday (July 18) requesting that they conduct a welfare check for Haldenstein. They initially cleared the scene but returned around 7:30 p.m. after getting another call that prompted a second welfare check.
“While speaking with Haldenstein, he made comments that prompted officers to check one of the bedrooms, where officers discovered one male victim deceased,” the HPD said. “Haldenstein was transported to Reston Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.”
After being released from the hospital, Haldenstein was taken to HPD headquarters and arrested after being interviewed by detectives. He is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Two Charged in Herndon Man’s Death — “Fairfax County Police charged two Sterling men already in police custody Thursday in connection with the May 7 fatal shooting of 26-year-old Brian Constanza-Campos of Herndon…In the first six months of 2021, Fairfax County has already had 10 homicides.” [Patch]
Hook Road Tennis Court Renovations Delayed — “Due to availability and delivery issues of materials, as well as difficulties scheduling exterior work, Reston Association is anticipating a 3-to-4-week delay on completion of the Hook Road tennis renovation project. We now expect substantial work to be finished by Aug. 13.” [RA/Twitter]
Park Authority Board Resumes In-Person Meetings — After a 15-month shift to virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board will meet in person once again starting with its scheduled 7:30 p.m. meeting on July 14 at the Herrity Building. The board will also resume opening meetings with a public comment period. [FCPA]
Virginia Federal Prosecutors Increase Support for Civil Rights Cases — “Acting U.S. Attorney For the Eastern District of Virginia Raj Parekh announced Thursday the creation of a civil rights team within the office’s criminal division. Prosecutors will investigate hate crimes, bias-related incidents, and alleged law enforcement misconduct, among other crimes.” [WTOP]
Reston Man Among Suspects in Maryland Murder — Reston resident William Rivera-Martinez, 20, is among five people who have been arrested and face charges in the April murder of a 15-year-old Nelson Ramos. As of Thursday morning (June 24), Rivera-Martinez was in Fairfax County custody and awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County. [The Washington Post]
Threat of Mass Evictions Looms with Moratorium Set to End — Fairfax County officials say there’s “plenty of emergency rental assistance” to help residents at risk of eviction, but with Virginia expected to let its eviction moratorium expire when the COVID-19 state of emergency ends on June 30, they worry it will take too long to get the money to landlords to stave off evictions. [Inside NoVA]
Herndon Startup Chosen for Amazon Program — The data analytics company HawkEye 360 has been chosen by Amazon Web Services for a four-week business accelerator focused on the space industry. The 10 companies selected for the program will get business advice and support in their efforts to collect data from satellites for cloud computing. [Axios]
Reston Trucking Software Company Acquired — “Trucker Tools LLC, a Reston outfit that offers a digital freight management platform, has been acquired by ASG, a California company backed by private equity firm Alpine Investors that specializes in purchasing and building software-as-a-service companies.” [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Fundraiser Launched for Family of Homicide Victims — “A family member of the mother and two children killed over the weekend in Herndon has launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for funeral expenses…As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the campaign had raised more than $3,600 toward its goal of $30,000.” [Patch]
Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art Reopens Gallery — “We are pleased to announce that Tephra ICA at Signature, our satellite gallery space highlighting work by local and regional artists, has reopened for visitors. The gallery is located at the Signature apartment building in Reston, VA, and visitors are welcome Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm.” [Tephra ICA]
Leidos Lights Up HQ for Pride Month — Leidos will light up its headquarters building at Reston Town Center in rainbow colors today “as a tribute to PRIDE Month and the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots,” the information technology contractor says. This is the second year that the company has put on the display, which will run around the clock through June 30. [Leidos]
Nearby: Person Arrested at Loudoun County School Board Meeting — “The Loudoun County School Board shut down a public meeting Tuesday on a new policy involving transgender students after people at the meeting reportedly started speaking over public commenters and refused to cooperate. One person was arrested and there was at least one person injured, authorities say.” [NBC4]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Family of Herndon Murder Victims Mourns — “A father is grieving after his two young children, a boy and a girl, and their mother were found dead inside an apartment in Herndon, Virginia, on Saturday — the same day the family planned to have a birthday party for the 10-year-old girl. Outside of the apartment where they died, there is a memorial for the family. A balloon flies for the daughter who was killed on her birthday.” [NBC4]
Reston Man Arrested at Crystal City Restaurant — “Arlington County Police charged a Reston man early Thursday morning for acting disorderly and assaulting a police officer at Crystal City restaurant, according to the daily crime report. Officers responded around 12:50 a.m., for the report of a manacting disorderly inside a restaurant in the 400 block of 23rd Street S.” [Patch]
Police Officer Says Prosecutor Withholding Evidence in Use of Force Case — “A Fairfax County police officer accused of using excessive force, including deploying a Taser, against a Black man has asked a judge to dismiss the case, claiming prosecutors have not disclosed evidence that would bolster his defense.” [The Washington Post]
Dulles Chamber Spotlights Local Eateries — The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce launched a new “Taste of Dulles Corridor” promotional effort yesterday (Monday), highlighting a different local hotel or food establishment, including restaurants and breweries, in its weekly newsletter. The first venue to get the spotlight is Mile 20 at the Mediterranean Breeze in Herndon. [Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce]
Cicada Eggs to Trim Tree Limbs — “You’ll soon see a lot of this. Tips of tree branches are dying and breaking off. These are the places that cicadas laid eggs. No big deal. The trees have been through this before, and it’s just a minor trimming for most of them.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Updated at 3:55 p.m. — The victims of this morning’s triple murder in Herndon’s Parkridge Gardens apartment complex were all members of the same family, Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard confirmed.
DeBoard said in a press conference at 3:30 p.m. that the man who died by apparent suicide earlier today in Reston made statements prior to his death that led the Fairfax County Police Department to contact the Herndon Police Department and request that they perform a welfare check in the 500 block of Florida Avenue.
A preliminary investigation and assistance from neighbors in the area led officers to a residence where they found the bodies of an adult and two children inside.
Police believe the individual who died by suicide in Reston “had a personal relationship with the adult victim,” DeBoard said.
DeBoard confirmed that there are no remaining public safety concerns, but police are awaiting results from the medical examiner’s office before sharing more information about how the homicide occurred.
She also said that the victims are not being identified yet, because police are still working to contact and interview next-of-kin, and there are no plans at this time to publicly name the juvenile victims.
“I think we will close this fairly quickly,” DeBoard said. “…We have to look at things like motive. We have to ensure that cause of death and all those things are determined without question, and we don’t want to release any of that information until we can put a finite answer on those questions.”
Earlier: An apparent triple homicide reported in Herndon this morning (Saturday) is suspected to be linked to a suicide in Reston, a Herndon Police Department spokesperson says.
A tipster alerted Reston Now that there was significant police activity in Reston Town Center around 8:30 a.m., reportedly after a man jumped off of a parking garage. Reston Now has reached out to the Fairfax County Police Department for confirmation.
According to HPD spokesperson Lisa Herndon, Herndon police received a call from their Fairfax County counterparts at 7:30 a.m. about the suicide, leading officers to go to the 500 block of Florida Avenue for a wellness check.
One adult and two juveniles were then discovered deceased in the home. Herndon did not provide details on what led police to believe the two incidents are connected, but she said the scene in the home is “clearly a homicide.”
“There’s no threat to the community,” Herndon said.
A news conference is currently pending notification of the next of kin, which Herndon says is the father of the family.
Officers are currently investigating the scene in the 500 block of Florida Avenue, and police are asking the public to avoid the area.
“Preliminary investigation indicates there is no threat to public,” the Herndon Police Department says.
Update at 1:30 p.m. — The homicides in Herndon appear to be linked to a man’s suicide in Reston.
Officers are in the 500-blk of Florida Ave investigating the scene of what appears to be a homicide. Three victims were found inside the home. Preliminary investigation indicates there is no threat to public. Avoid area. More details as available. Media details to follow. pic.twitter.com/CzHKD86KLg
— Herndon Police (@HerndonPolice) June 19, 2021
Fairfax County to Host COVID-19 Remembrance Ceremony — The Northern Virginia Regional Commission will hold a virtual ceremony next Wednesday (June 9) at the Fairfax County Government Center to honor the more than 2,350 people in the region who have died from COVID-19. Local officials will discuss the pandemic’s impact, and the event will conclude with a “last alarm” bell service courtesy of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. [Fairfax County Government]
Reston’s First Homocide Remains a Mystery — 49 years after her death, the family of Gwen Ames is still hoping for answers, as Fairfax County police have yet to identify a suspect in the first murder recorded in Reston. A 17-year-old student at Herndon High School, Ames was killed on June 4, 1972 while walking home from a dance at Lake Anne Plaza. [Patch]
Democratic Governor Candidates Spar in Final Debate — The Democratic candidates to become Virginia’s next governor faced off in the last debate before the Democratic primary on Tuesday (June 8). Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who has been leading in polls, focused on attacking Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin, an approach that drew criticisms from his opponents. [WTOP]
Leidos Subsidary Lands NASA Contract — “Dynetics Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Reston-based Fortune 500 government contractor Leidos Holdings Inc., has received a potential $90 million contract from NASA to produce a laser air monitoring system (LAMS) for the agency’s Orion spacecraft, beginning with the Artemis III mission, which plans to return astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972’s Apollo 17 mission.” [Virginia Business]
Herndon High School Holds Graduation Ceremony — Herndon High School seniors got to graduate in person yesterday (Wednesday). Attendees included Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, who congratulated the Class of 2021 on overcoming the challenges of the last year and said that “we can’t wait to see what your future holds.” [Walter Alcorn/Twitter]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Man Charged in Reston Condo Murder — 24-year-old Alexander Jahelka has been charged with second-degree murder after police found his father, 66-year-old Kenneth Jahelka, suffering from stab wounds in a condominium in the 11800 block of Shire Court on Saturday (May 22). This is the eighth homicide that Fairfax County has seen this year and the third in Reston. [FCPD]
Dead Body Found on Herndon Golf Course — “Detectives from the Herndon Police Department believe that man whose body’s was found Friday morning [May 21] at Herndon Centennial Golf Course had died accidentally, according to Lisa Herndon, HPD spokeswoman…A golf course employee found the body in a pond on the property and contacted police, according to Herndon. HPD identified the body as that of an adult male.” [Patch]
BLM Banner Stolen from Reston Church Again — Unitarian Universalist Church members noticed that the church’s Black Lives Matter banner was missing again on Thursday (May 20). Installed in September, this was the church’s second BLM banner after one raised last June in response to the racial justice protests spurred by George Floyd’s murder was also stolen. [Patch]
Reston Association Reviewing Updated COVID-19 Guidelines — “Until the review is completed, RA will continue to require the use of masks, a pool reservation sign-up system and social distancing at all RA facilities, including pools. RA will inform members of any changes in operating procedures due to the governor’s order as soon as possible. The association’s first priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and members.” [RA News]
Reston Singer Releases New Single — “Emerging singer-songwriter Amanda Cunningham of Reston shares her struggle with personal accountability, power when forming close friendships, and self-esteem in her newest single, “Pattern” (2021). Originally a self-described pop/rhythm and blues [R&B] singer, Cunningham recently admitted her voice and lyrics are turning more country.” [The Connection]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
In a public alert, FCPD is offering cash rewards varying from $500 to $2,000 for information that leads directly to an arrest.
On Jan. 2, someone fired a gun near Breton Court shortly after 2:45 p.m. Property was damaged as a result.
In the second incident, a man driving a light-colored SUV fired a gun at least three times from his car. The incident happened near Glade drive at Timberhead Court on Feb. 20 shortly after 5 a.m.
Police are offering a $500 reward for information related to both incidents.
A $2,000 award is being offered for information about the shooting death of a Reston man on March 11. Santos Antonio Trejo Lemus, 40, was shot and killed just outside of an apartment building on the 2200 block of Winterthur Court shortly before 5:30 p.m.
Local police canvassed the area of the crime in id-March to gather information about the incident.
Residents can submit tips to Fairfax County Crime Solvers by calling 866-411-8477 or by texting FCCS to 847411. Tips can also be submitted online.
We need your help in solving these three cases from the Reston District. Anyone with information on these cases is asked to submit a tip anonymously using Fairfax County Crime Solvers. If your tip leads to an arrest, you will be eligible for a cash reward. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/KCzAbGR5sC
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 24, 2021
Photo via FCPD
Local police have made a second arrest in the shooting death of a Reston man in late November of last year.
Earlier this week, the Herndon Police Department arrested and charged Jameel Byrd, 20, of Herndon on charges of second-degree murder and robbery.
Byrd’s brother — Jason Byrd, 20, of Herndon — was arrested in November on charges on second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Police believe the brothers shot and killed Julian Rashad Martin, a 30-year-old resident, near the 1000 block of Queens Court.
The case remains under investigation.
Photo via Herndon Police Department
Police arrested Jalenn Maurtiece Keene on Friday night in the shooting death of Samuel Onyeuka. The 20-year-old was killed near the 2300 block of Branleigh Park Court after 2 p.m. on Feb. 11. The suspect fled the scene immediately after the shooting, according to FCPD.
Keene was charged with second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was arrested hours away in Newport News. Local police worked with the Newport News Police Department to coordinate his arrest. He was found based on a review of financial records and surveillance footage.
Police also believe they found the Nissan Rogue that they believe the suspect fled the scene in. A gun was found in the car, but it is currently unclear if that gun was used to kill Onyeuka.
He will be extradited to Fairfax County and currently remains in custody in Newport News.
This is the first homicide of the year in Fairfax County.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to use the following means to contact FCPD:
Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 2. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text – Type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411, and by web – Click HERE. Download our Mobile tip411 App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars if their information leads to an arrest.
Photo via FCPD
Three men — including two Reston residents — have pleaded guilty for their involvement in the drug-related murder of Michael Cooker in 2018.
Charles Forbes, 30, of Reston, pleaded guilty late last week to using a firearm to commit a drug-related murder. Fredy Alfaro, 36, also of Reston, and Jimmie McCray, 36, of Sterling, also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the murder and conspiring to distribute marijuana.
Alfaro worked with Cooker and others to ship marijuana from California and sell it in Northern Virginia from January through April of 2018, according to court documents.
When Alfaro and Cooker had an argument over the conspiracy’s profits, Alfaro called McCray and offer him money to physically harm Cooker. The offer came after Cooker and Alfaro argued on April 17, court documents show. McCray told Forbes about Alfaro’s offer, court documents show.
Around 6 a.m. the next day, Cooker, McCray, Forbes and another individual who has not named drove to Chantilly where McCray gives Forbes a revolver.
Forbes left in a separate car with Cooker, pulled over in a wooded area in Fairfax Station, and shot him twice in the head roughly half-an-hour after the group separated. Forbes left his body there, according to police.
Alfaro was sentenced to 21 years in prison, McCray was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and Forbes faces a maximum term of life in person when he is sentenced on April 9, 2021.
A Herndon resident has been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in the Town of Herndon that happened yesterday afternoon.
Jason Byrd, 20, was arrested yesterday. (Wednesday) after the Herndon Police Department “worked quickly” to identify Byrd as a suspect in the case, according to a police department spokesperson.
He was charged with second-degree murder and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The arrest was made with the help of the Fairfax County Police Department.
The victim, Julian Rashad Martin, 30, of Reston, was found lying in the road on the 1000 block of Queens Court yesterday.
He later died from his injuries at Reston Hospital. Police responded to the area after receiving reports of shots fired in the area.
Photo via FCPD