Update: Robbery and Assault of Victim Immediately Preceded Hewitt Avenue Fatal Hit and Run; Third Suspect Charged

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division have charged Ashley Elizabeth Bonilla, age 15, of Holdridge Avenue in Silver Spring, as an adult, with the first-degree murder and armed robbery of 40-year-old Gregory Jonathan Atwood of Tynewick Drive in the Bel Pre area.  Bonilla is the third suspect to be charged with offenses related to this crime.

Through investigation, detectives have determined that on June 8 at approximately 3:15 a.m., Mohammed Salous, age 17, of Glenmont Circle in Silver Spring, Kenneth Kpakima (also spelled Kapakima), age 21, of Venice Drive in Silver Spring , and Ashley Bonilla, were walking in the 3300 block of Hewitt Avenue when they encountered Gregory Atwood (the victim).  The three suspects stole the victim’s backpack and assaulted him.  The victim fell backward into a wooded area adjacent to the intersection of Georgia and Hewitt Avenues.  Salous and Kpakima followed the victim into the woods and continued to assault him.  Kpakima stole the victim’s wallet.  The assault was captured on video surveillance with audio.

The three suspects watched the victim crawl out of the woods and toward the 13500 block of Georgia Avenue, enter the roadway, and collapse.  The suspects watched the victim lay motionless on the road and then watched a vehicle run over the victim.  The suspects then fled from the area.

At approximately 3:50 a.m., 4th District officers responded to southbound Georgia Avenue at Hewitt Avenue for the report of a person in the roadway.

The victim’s body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office and on July 10, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland ruled the death a homicide.

Detectives previously charged Salous as an adult with assault-related offenses and murder for his involvement in this crime and charged Kpakima with assault and armed robbery offenses related to this crime.  The investigation is continuing.

Collision Reconstruction Unit detectives continue to investigate the hit-and-run element of this investigation.  Their investigation indicates that the victim was struck by at least two separate vehicles. The drivers of those vehicles did not remain on the scene. Detectives request anyone with information regarding the vehicles involved to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.

Bonilla will have bond review today in Rockville District Court.

Photos of Bonilla and Salous will not be released due to their ages.

Previous Press Releases:

Update: Robbery and Assault Immediately Preceded Hewitt Avenue Fatal Hit and Run; Suspects Arrested

Detectives Investigate Fatal Pedestrian Hit and Run Collision in Aspen Hill

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DNA Evidence Left at Scene Used to Create Suspect Composite in Unsolved Rapes and Murder

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Cold Case Squad continue to investigate the following assaults, rapes, and murder involving three women.  Due to similarities in these crimes, investigators believe that the same suspect is involved.  Today, detectives are releasing a composite based on the suspect’s DNA evidence that was left at two of the scenes.

Three incidents reported to police are detailed below:

  • On June 25, 1989 at approximately 10:15 p.m., the 52-year-old victim was walking on Lewis Avenue in Rockville when the suspect approached her from behind, assaulted her, and then raped her. Suspect DNA evidence was recovered in this case.
  • On September 19, 1994 at approximately 10:20 p.m., the 25-year-old victim was walking on Twinbrook Parkway when the suspect approached her from behind while armed with a knife. The suspect grabbed the victim and dragged her to the side of her residence where he attempted to rape her.  The victim successfully resisted the assault, fled, and contacted police.  No DNA evidence was able to be collected in this event.
  • On October 3, 1994, Le Bich-Thuy, age 42, was located deceased to the side of her home in the 1600 block of Martha Terrace in Rockville. The investigation by detectives revealed that Le Bich-Thuy had been assaulted, raped, and then strangled.  Investigators further determined that Le Bich-Thuy was last known to be alive at approximately 10:00 p.m. on September 28, 1994 as she left the Twinbrook Metro Station in Rockville.  Suspect DNA evidence was recovered in this case.

A DNA analysis was conducted on the evidence collected in two of these events.  Based on that analysis, it was determined that the same suspect had committed the June 25, 1989 assault and rape of the first victim and had also committed the 1994 rape and murder of Le Bich-Thuy.

Detectives recently sought the services of Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon), a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping, or the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.  Using DNA evidence left by the suspect at these scenes, Parabon’s Shapshot DNA Phenotyping Service has produced what is referred to as a Snapshot composite depicting how the suspect in these cases may have looked.

How Parabon Created the Suspect Composite

Parabon’s Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service used the DNA evidence left by the suspect at the scenes to produce trait predictions for the suspect.  Individual predictions were made for the suspect’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape.  By combining these attributes of appearance, Snapshot composites were produced depicting what the suspect might look like at a certain age and with a certain body-mass index (BMI).  The default ages and default BMIs were used because age and BMI cannot be determined from DNA.

It is important to note that Snapshot composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance.  Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and other non-environmental factors – e.g., facial hair, hairstyle, scars, etc. – cannot be predicted by DNA analysis and may cause further variation between the subject’s predicted and actual appearances.

Police Requesting the Public’s Assistance

Detectives are releasing the suspect composite with the belief that someone will recognize the suspect and provide information to investigators.   Anyone with information regarding the suspect or anyone who believes he/she may have details that might advance this investigation is urged to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect. Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Map of the area where rape, attempted rape, and rape and murder occurred.

Parabon composite of suspect at 25 years of age.

Parabon composite of suspect at 45 years of age.

Human Remains Located in Germantown Park; Death Investigated as Homicide

Detectives with the Montgomery County Police – Major Crimes Division are investigating the death of a male who was found deceased in Seneca Creek State Park in Germantown.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has ruled this death a homicide.

In early June, detectives located the remains of a male in a shallow grave in Seneca Creek Park located on Black Rock Road in Germantown.

Investigators have not been able to identify the victim and are now asking for the public’s assistance.

The victim is described as a 15 to 17-year-old.  Detectives believe that he may be of Hispanic descent, possibly from the Hyattsville area.  It is believed that the victim has been deceased since February or March of 2017.

Example photos of the victim’s clothing and a photo of a rosary that was found with the victim are being released in hopes that someone may recognize the items leading to the identity of the male.

The following personal effects were located with the victim:

  • A turquoise rosary
  • A blue, medium sized Old Navy heavy jacket with zipper. The detachable hood is attached with snaps.
  • A blue, Nautica brand striped sweater with zipper at the neck. The sweater is boys size extra-large (14-16).
  • Adam Levine “The Dean” slim-fit denim jeans, waist size 30, length size 32.
  • Black knit gloves.
  • Black, size 10 USPA sneakers.
  • Black socks.
  • Black, Guess belt, size 32 with a silver rectangular buckle.
  • White and blue striped Timberland Polo shirt.

This investigation is ongoing.  Detectives are urging anyone who has information regarding this homicide to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect. Call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or leave a Crime Solvers tip here. Tipsters will remain anonymous.

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Example of the blue, medium sized Old Navy heavy jacket that the victim was wearing. The detachable hood is attached with snaps.

Example of blue and white, Nautica brand striped sweater that the victim was wearing. The sweater is boys size extra-large (14-16).

Turquoise rosary

Close up view of turquoise rosary

Example of the blue and white polo shirt that the victim was wearing.

 

Detectives Investigate Death in Burtonsville as Homicide

Update: May 22, 2018, at 10:35 am – The victim is identified as Francesco Michael DiGiovanni, age 45, of the 1000 block of Rockville Pike in Rockville.  At the time of this incident, DiGiovanni was working as a pizza delivery driver.

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Detectives with the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division are investigating the death of an adult male in Burtonsville as a homicide.

On Monday, May 21, at approximately 11:14 p.m., the Emergency Communications Center (911) received multiple calls for the sound of shots fired in the area of Aldora Circle in Burtonsville.

Third district officers responded to the area and located an adult male with trauma to his body inside of a vehicle on Ballinger Drive at Autumn Glen Circle.  Officers and Fire & Rescue personnel attempted life-saving measures but the victim succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) in Baltimore will conduct an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of the victim’s death.

Detectives are urging anyone who may have information regarding this investigation to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070 or contact Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.

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Detectives Investigate Triple Homicide in Brookeville; Suspect Deceased

On Monday, May 7, at approximately 3:44 p.m., the Emergency Communications Center (911) received multiple calls for a possible domestic situation involving a person with a gun in the 22000 block of Brown Farm Way in Brookeville.  Each caller had various pieces of information and 911 call takers worked to gather as many details as possible.  During some of the 911 calls, call takers heard what sounded like gunshots in the background.

Officers responded to 22002 Brown Farm Way and located three adults deceased at the home.  All three victims had been shot.  The victims are being identified as:

– Mary Ann Olson, age 66, of the residence located at 22002 Brown Farm Way.

– Danny Lee Murphy, age 70, of East Spearfish Drive in Brandon, South Dakota.  He was visiting the residents of 22002 Brown Farm Way.

– Craig Harold Shotwell, age 54, of Wards Chapel Road in Owings Mills, Maryland.  He was performing work at the residence located at 22002 Brown Farm Way.

Officers secured the home and determined that the suspect had fled.

Officers learned that three other adults who had also been home at the time of the shooting had escaped from the home unharmed.  One of those adults was the suspect’s wife.  The suspect was identified as Christopher Wilson Snyder, age 41, of 22001 Brown Farm Way.  Officers believed that after Snyder shot the victims, he fled to his home.

Additional officers, to include tactical units and negotiators, responded to the scene.  Officers confirmed that Snyder was in his home and set up a perimeter around the area.  Negotiators began talking to Snyder via telephone in an attempt to get him to surrender.  The negotiations lasted several hours.

At approximately 11:00 p.m., tactical officers forced entry into Snyder’s residence via the front door.  Snyder, who was talking to a negotiator on the phone, asked if the police had just broke in the front door and then hung up the phone.  Tactical officers then heard a single gunshot.

Snyder was located deceased inside of his home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Major Crimes detectives continue to investigate these homicides.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is assisting the Department with the investigation.  While the motive of these shootings is still under investigation, Snyder’s wife stated to investigators that she had been held in the home against her will by her husband Snyder during the weekend and found the opportunity to escape to her neighbor’s home located at 22002 Brown Farm Way.  Investigators believe this caused Snyder to go to that neighbor’s home where he shot and killed the three victims.