First Person: Murder in Retail Store Shocks Bethesda, Md.
Walking to get a quick breakfast bite on Saturday morning, my girlfriend and I were taken aback as a series of police cars began lining both sides of the street. We surmised that a store must have been broken into the previous evening, perhaps the Lululemon Athletica shop where some cops had begun parking, or the Apple store adjacent to it.
The cops were mum about what had happened, and the commotion almost appeared as if a movie were being filmed, with traffic being hurriedly cordoned off and police officers surveying the scene. However, there were no cameras or crew members around.
That’s also as distant as the area seems to true life danger and crime. Bethesda, Md., just miles outside of Washington and one of Maryland’s closest suburbs to the political hub of the country, has a thriving business district, but is known much more as an enclave for upscale restaurants and shops. Looking over your shoulder at night is an almost foreign concept.
Bethesda Row in particular, where the many police officers had been buzzing about, carries this reputation even more than elsewhere in the area. It’s a brick-lined promenade filled with boutiques, restaurants and pricey apartments.
However, the actual reason for the police presence that morning was far grimmer. According to reports, 30-year-old Jayna Murray had been murdered inside of Lululemon the evening before, and her coworker had been sexually assaulted and tied up in the back room, where she had been found Saturday morning.
The two women had closed up the shop, which sells high-end women’s yoga clothing, at about 9 p.m., but then went back inside after one had realized she forgot something inside the store. A brutal scene quickly emerged, with two men apparently entering the unlocked store and proceeding to murder Murray and sexually assaulting her coworker.
As of this time, no eyewitness accounts have been made, and no surveillance videos have captured any evidence.
On Monday afternoon, a typically bustling crowd of Bethesda businessmen and businesswomen were grabbing lunch at nearby restaurants. The Lululemon Athletica storefront, with its windows blocked from view with thick brown paper, had dozens of flower bouquets and commemorative notes placed beside the door, which was draped with police tape. The lines of cop cars from Saturday morning had been replaced by lines of news vans. The cameras and the crews were there now, to film the aftermath.
This article was first published by Jake Emen on Yahoo! News on March 14, 2011