A suspect was arrested in the stabbing death of a female jogger that has shaken Washington DC this week.
Wendy Karina Martinez was running in Logan Circle, a low-crime residential neighbourhood, when Anthony Crawford allegedly stabbed her in the neck in an "unprovoked attack," police chief Peter Newsham said during a press conference. Police said surveillance footage and community tips played a crucial role in identifying and locating the 23-year-old suspect, ending an exhaustive manhunt that took place throughout the week.
"A combination of information from patrol officers and tips helped establish identification," the police chief said Thursday. The suspect, who reportedly has a criminal history, refused to cooperate with investigators on Wednesday night when he was taken in for questioning and was subsequently arrested on first-degree murder charges. Mr Crawford was later taken to the hospital for an injury on his hand, according to police.
Ms Martinez entered a nearby Chinese-American restaurant immediately after the stabbing, approaching several customers before passing out. The diners provided aid until paramedics arrived and rushed her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
In a statement, Ms Martinez’ family called the stabbing a “senseless tragedy” and remembered the avid runner as “the light of our lives”.
"We are deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy. Wendy Karina Martinez was the light of our lives. Not only was she an avid runner, but she was a devout Christian, a wonderful friend, and a driven professional," the statement read. "Everything you hope that a daughter and a friend could be. She was also excited to be planning her upcoming wedding to her fiancé, Daniel Hincapie. They were engaged just last week."
Police offered a $25,000 reward for anyone with information on the suspect that could lead to a conviction, the Associated Press reported.
The stabbing death was not part of an attempted armed robbery, according to police, who said the suspect had a home in northwest DC.
Ms Martinez was reportedly known by friends and family to jog several miles throughout the city during her runs, and was living close to the Logan Circle area where she was killed. Local residents have remembered Ms Martinez by leaving flowers outside of the restaurant where she was last seen alive.
The 35-year-old was the chief of staff of FiscalNote, Inc., a software and media company with headquarters in Washington.
Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser thanked the police department for their efforts, saying Thursday, "This is an outraged community; this is a woman who should be going to work today".