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Vehicle seen leaving alley near slain principal's home, police say

Detectives investigating the murder of D.C. principal Brian Betts are looking for a vehicle seen leaving an alley adjacent to his home about 45 minutes after he was known to still be alive, officials said Thursday.

The vehicle was seen about 12:15 a.m. Thursday driving away from an alley that runs between Betts’s home and an Exxon station near Georgia Avenue and Columbia Boulevard, said Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesman.

"We believe it may be related to the homicide," Starks said.

He declined to offer more details about the vehicle. Detectives have spoken to at least one person who saw it and would like to speak with more, Starks said.

Betts’s own car, a Nissan SUV, was taken, and detectives believe that theft was related to the murder. This indicates that more than one person may have been involved.

But Starks said from the beginning of the case, detectives have looked at the possibility that one or more people were involved, and that is still the case.

Betts was alive as of 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, based on a conversation he had at the time with at least one person, police have said. His body was discovered about 7:40 p.m. Thursday.

Starks declined to say if detectives have determined an approximate time of death. Betts was shot at least once, and his clothed body was found inside a bedroom.

Betts’s SUV was abandoned in Southeast D.C. on Friday. Detectives are trying to speak with two people a witness said he observed walking away from the vehicle.

An examination of the inside of the SUV showed it to be clean of debris -- no bottles, no trash, no cigarette butts, Starks said.

He urged anyone with information about the vehicle in the alley, Betts’s SUV, or the case, to call the department’s major crimes unit at 240-773-5070 or CrimeSolvers, which makes callers eligible for a possible reward, at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  April 22, 2010; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Montgomery , Updates  
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Comments

Why don't they check the camera from the gas station or the one on Georgia Ave? I'm sure at that time of night it wasn't that many cars on the road.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | April 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody thought of a toxiology report, sounds to me like a crack party and he was done for the night. Maybe he had a hidden habit...

Posted by: FrankMonzon | April 22, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I am happy for EVERY effort to find and prosecute the animals that did this. The judgment on this crime is in my prayers. The criminals need to be hanged in front of DC Superior Court. (I am thinking that the previous DC Schools regime should be considered.) Their families should be ashamed. (Surely, their Grandmothers' hearts are broken.) This is a sad DC story, for sure.

Posted by: Morgantoo | April 22, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Toxiology Report? Good detective work FrankMoron, maybe that will tell who fired the gun shot that killed him.

Posted by: TravMode | April 23, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Toxiology Report? Good detective work FrankMoron, maybe that will tell who fired the gun shot that killed him.

Posted by: TravMode | April 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Toxiology Report? Good detective work FrankMoron, maybe that will tell who fired the gun shot that killed him.

Posted by: TravMode | April 23, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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