Detectives Arrest Suspect in Murder of Spears
Prince George’s County Police (PGPD) Homicide Unit detectives have identified and arrested the suspect on July 18 who shot and killed 23-year-old Zoe Spears.
PGPD officials arrested Gerardo Thomas, 33, a resident of Baltimore almost a month after the murder.
On June 13, at around 11:55 pm, officers with the Fairmount Heights Police Department responded to a report of an unresponsive female on a sidewalk of the 600 block of 59th Avenue in Fairmont Heights, only steps away from the Washington, D.C. border. Spears was suffering from a gunshot wound before she died on the scene, officials said.
Hours after the incident, detectives conducted a crime scene canvass and recovered surveillance video capturing the actual murder along with the suspect’s van.
PGPD Chief Hank Stawinski acknowledged the work of the department’s Criminal Investigations Division and its investigative effort involved with this case.
“This arrest demonstrates our commitment to our community and to the dignity of every single human being,” Stawinski said. “Your detectives used every resource at their disposal to the fullest extent, but ultimately it was grit and determination that led to the identification of the individual responsible for callously taking Zoe’s life.”
PGPD say the motive for this murder remains under investigation.
“Homicide Unit detectives worked around the clock on this case throughout the past five weeks, initially with nothing more to go on than a grainy surveillance image of the killer’s van,” Stawinski said. “Your detectives, led by Major Reilly, were unfazed by the scope of the investigation or the tens of thousands of images that they would review in order to identify the killer and obtain justice for Zoe. I am proud of them, and I know that our community is as well.”
PGPD asks anyone who recognizes Thomas or saw his van, a rental silver Dodge Caravan, in the area around the time of Spears’ murder to call its Homicide Unit or detectives at 301-772-4925 with any information relevant to the case.
Man Arrested On More Than 100 Counts of Possession of Child Pornography
PGPD formally announced the arrest of Ralph Sengsy, 22, after being charged with 105 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography.
Also according to PGPD, their partners at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provided information on Sengsy’s “alleged criminal behavior.”
It prompted detectives to open an extensive investigation which led to Sengsy’s arrest on the morning of July 17 at his home on Van Buren Drive in Fort Washington.
“The preliminary investigation reveals he uploaded the criminal content onto a social media platform,” police said in a statement. “At this time, there is no indication Sengsy produced child pornography or had inappropriate contact with any children.”
Sengsy remains in the custody of the Department of Corrections. Officials are asking residents with relevant information on this case to call the Child and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Unit at 301-772-4930.
Five Local Teens Arrested for Armed Robbery Following Pursuit
County police arrested five teenagers following robbing a pharmacy at gunpoint and speeding off in a chase with police.
According to county police, the preliminary investigation revealed the group targeted a pharmacy retail store on the 8000 block of Branch Avenue in Clinton at 1:35 a.m. on July 16. Within minutes of the robbery, responding patrol officers located the car and the pursuit began.
The police department’s Aviation Section provided aerial support and maintained visual contact of the fleeing car throughout the pursuit, according to a two-minute helicopter surveillance video released by PGPD.
Officers quickly located the vehicle with the robbery and attempted a traffic stop. Rather than stopping, the car fled from law enforcement and the chase resuming, police said.
The high-speed pursuit ended after the suspects ended at around 2:07 a.m. crashed their car on the Georgia Avenue exit ramp to the Beltway in Montgomery County. PGPD’s Bureau of Patrol was responsible for the “eventual capture” of the suspects in the vehicle, according to police.
David McKinney, 19, of Northeast Washington, Corey Nelson,18, of Southeast Washington, Rodney Wood, 18, of Alexandria, Va. and Keondre Reel, 17, of Northeast Washington were arrested following the pursuit. Police also arrested a fifth suspect, a teenage girl, but confirmed that she charged as a juvenile.
No injuries occurred during the pursuit. After the suspects crashed their car on the Georgia Avenue exit ramp to the Beltway, police took all five suspects in custody without incident and were later charged with robbery.