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A year later, no answers in triple murder

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of one of Fairfax County's most shocking unsolved murders -- the triple homicide of Terence J. Strope, 38, his brother Ryan C. Strope, 26, and their friend Andres A. Yelicie, 26.

The men were inside the Stropes' rented home in the Ravensworth Farm neighborhood of Springfield when they were stabbed to death, possibly by men wearing black clothes with the words "Police" and "SWAT" on them.

Chris Strope, a former Arlington police officer, police union leader and the father of Terence and Ryan Strope, said an $11,000 reward still exists for information leading to an arrest in the case.

“Everyone’s still in shock a year later,” said their sister, Lisa-Marie Strope, 29. “My brothers were caring, outgoing, warm people. Their deaths really impacted everybody, not just us.”

Police have been desperate for leads in the case, and they do not think the attack was random. Detectives believe that the Stropes were selling marijuana out of the brick rambler on Moultrie Road, and the slayings may have been related to that.

Even so, “nobody deserves what happened here,” Chris Strope said. “These boys opened up their house to everybody. Their friends loved them dearly.”

Yelicie’s family has spoken through their lawyer, Bernard DiMuro, who could not be reached for comment Thursday. Police believe Yelicie was simply visiting the house when the attack began. He alerted a neighbor by staggering out of the house and collapsing on another resident’s front stoop.

Police said in February they believe more than one suspect was involved, that the suspects may be from Maryland, and that witnesses spotted an older, light-colored or gold Chevrolet Blazer or Jeep near the Stropes’ house on the night of the slayings, and a white compact car was also seen near the house an hour prior to the killings.

The only other unsolved triple homicide in Fairfax in the last 15 years is the shooting of the Taima family -- Fuad and Dorothy Taima and their teenaged son Leith -- inside their home in McLean in May 1999. Police believe that also was a targeted killing, and suspect it may have related to Fuad Taima's business dealings in Iraq.

Anyone with information can call police at 866-411-TIPS or text “TIP187” and the message to CRIMES (274637). Callers may remain anonymous.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  November 19, 2009; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , Tom Jackman , Unsolved , Updates  
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