Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division have arrested Stephan Leroy H Lunningham, age 29, of Harmony Woods Lane in Germantown, for the first-degree murder of 49-year-old Angela Fay Thomas of Grosvenor Place in North Bethesda.
On March 14 at approximately 4:22 am, the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center received a call for a brush fire in a wooded area located in the 13700 block of Wisteria Drive.
Fire & Rescue personnel responded to the wooded area and located a vehicle on fire. As Fire & Rescue personnel extinguished the fire, they located a deceased person in the back-seat area of the vehicle. Police were called to the scene and Major Crimes detectives and fire investigators from the Montgomery County Office of Fire and Explosive Investigations (FEI) began to conduct a joint vehicle fire and death investigation.
The victim’s remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) in Baltimore and an autopsy was completed. The Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide. The victim has been tentatively identified as Thomas.
During the investigation by Major Crimes detectives and fire investigators, Stephan Leroy H Lunningham was developed as a suspect. Lunningham and the victim, Thomas, were known associates. On March 19, a criminal warrant was issued for Lunningham’s arrest, charging him with the first-degree murder of Thomas and first-degree arson.
On the afternoon of March 21, a vehicle occupied by Lunningham was stopped on Interstate 495 (I-495) in the area of the Colesville Road exit and he was arrested.
Lunningham was transported to Police Headquarters and elected to make a statement. He admitted to stabbing Thomas after a verbal altercation, and then burning the car containing the victim’s remains. Lunningham is currently being held without bond and is scheduled to have bond review today at 1:00 p.m.