- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fairfax County police said yesterday that they arrested a man in connection with the Christmas Eve robbery of a 62-year-old woman in her Springfield home and that the case does not appear to be connected to the killings of two elderly women nearby.

Police on Wednesday arrested Wilmer A. Chavarria, 26, of no fixed address, after residents in the area identified him based on a composite sketch.

Mary Mulrenan, a Fairfax County police spokeswoman, said officials think the robbery and the killings of the two Springfield women in their homes “are absolutely separate” events. “They haven’t ruled him out 100 percent, but they don’t believe he’s the murderer,” she added.

Police said Mr. Chavarria forced his way into a house near Frontier Drive between 8 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. on Christmas Eve and assaulted the woman. The woman, who was found by a relative, was hospitalized with a puncture wound to the arm and other injuries that were not life-threatening.

Police also have charged Mr. Chavarria with two other crimes that occurred Christmas Eve.

Officials said Mr. Chavarria entered a home in the 6300 block of Alamo Street through an unlocked front door at about 8:30 p.m. and was confronted by the homeowner. Mr. Chavarria told the 33-year-old homeowner that he was hungry and looking for food. Then he fled.

Investigators also said Mr. Chavarria pulled a knife on a 16-year-old girl in the 6600 block of Buckskin Street just before the first burglary on Alamo Street.

Police said yesterday that Mr. Chavarria was charged with malicious wounding, burglary at night with intent to commit robbery, burglary at night with intent to commit larceny and abduction.

The crimes occurred about a mile from the houses where two elderly women have been killed since August.

Marion Newman, 74, was found dead inside her home in the 7100 block of Reservoir Road about 11:15 a.m. Nov. 21. A friend said she had missed a dinner appointment a day earlier. Police found signs of a struggle but no forced entry.

At about 6:10 p.m. on Aug. 14, a friend found Marion Barbara Marshall, 72, slain inside her home two miles away in the 6600 block of Bostwick Drive.

Both women had been beaten to death.

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