- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Herndon woman was killed in a hit-and-run case just after midnight Tuesday, and all signs at the scene directed police to seek out her husband as a possible suspect.

But the discovery of his body in a nearby creek a short time later dashed investigators’ hopes of learning firsthand what led up to the two deaths.

“We don’t know what the series of events were that caused that, and we don’t know if we ever will,” Herndon Police Department spokesman Lt. Ron Thunman said Thursday.

Simret Tekle Woldetensae, 35, was killed when a car hit her in a parking lot outside the building where she lived with her husband, Fitsum Abrha Gebretatios, and three children. About a block away, in the 600 block of Center Street, police found Mr. Gebretatios‘ wrecked 2007 Toyota Camry. The car had obviously been moving at a high rate of speed when it careened head-on into a parked car, propelling that car to strike three other parked vehicles, Lt. Thunman said.

Investigators immediately began looking for Mr. Gebretatios, 32, as a person of interest in the hit-and-run case; but it was not until 5:30 p.m. Wednesday that they found his body in the creek about 100 yards from the crash scene. An autopsy is to be conducted to determine how he died, but police said he was involved in the head-on crash and had no signs of trauma from any sort of weapon.

Police do not believe any third party was involved in the crash and were unaware of any domestic problems between the couple.

“Nothing came up in the investigation to indicate there were any issues between the two of them,” Lt. Thunman said.

The couple’s three children were found unharmed inside their home and taken into custody by Child Protective Services.

Other than a witness who observed a man running from the scene of the crash, police said it appears no one else observed any of the other events that night.