- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 13, 2003

Members of Jonathan P. Luna’s family say they continue to cooperate with officials who are investigating the killing of the federal prosecutor and they appreciate the continued support they have received.

“The news of Jonathan’s tragic and violent death has been shocking and overwhelming for us,” the family said this week in its first written statement, which was released to the Associated Press. “Jonathan was a loving, caring and attentive husband and father. He and his wife shared a wonderful life with their two sons.”

Meanwhile, an FBI-led task force continues to track Mr. Luna’s whereabouts after he left his Baltimore office about 11:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Mr. Luna’s body was found several hours later in a creek bed in Lancaster County, Pa. He had been stabbed 36 times before drowning.

Investigators say they are not close to an arrest.

“Everyone is still working 24 hours a day, seven days a week on this,” said Larry Foust, a spokesman for the FBI field office in Baltimore. “Certainly there’s nothing on the radar or nothing imminent in terms of an arrest.”

Officials with the FBI Baltimore field office and the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office say that the two agencies are working closely to solve the case, despite what some termed a snub early in the investigation.

Federal law-enforcement authorities said FBI officials in Maryland and the District took offense at U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio’s initial statements that appeared to minimize the FBI’s role in the Luna investigation.

One key official said there was “never any doubt by anyone” that the task force probe would be led by the FBI, although Mr. DiBiagio cited the involvement of other federal, state and local agencies before acknowledging the FBI’s presence in the case.

Mr. Foust flatly rejected the idea that Mr. DiBiagio’s statements created friction between the two agencies.

However, the two agencies recently have had several public disagreements.

In spring 2002, the FBI asked federal prosecutors in Boston to review accusations of police moonlighting at Staples office-supply stores in the Baltimore area after Mr. DiBiagio’s office did not file any charges. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston also declined to file charges.

In January, Mr. DiBiagio complained that the shift in the FBI’s focus to antiterrorism investigations after September 11 had drawn agents away from the white-collar crimes, public corruption cases and major violent crimes Mr. DiBiagio had emphasized.

In a confidential letter to Gary M. Bald, then-director of the FBI Baltimore field office, Mr. DiBiagio said the FBI had become “distracted and almost useless as they try to figure out how to address terrorism.”

The letter was first published by the Baltimore Sun in February. Mr. Bald told the Sun that the differences were resolved in subsequent meetings.

Vickie LeDuc, a spokeswoman for Mr. DiBiagio, declined to comment on whether the relationship had been repaired.

“I don’t want to comment on repairing of relationships,” she said. “Our office continues and always has assisted the FBI in the investigation of the death of Jonathan Luna.”

• Jerry Seper contributed to this report.


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