ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) - A week after Asabech Abayneh was murdered in her Alexandria home on the Fourth of July, her family is seeking answers.
Though Alexandria Police say they have no idea who is responsible for killing Abayneh, they told ABC 7 News that two detectives have been working on the case practically nonstop the past seven days and are calling it an active, fluid investigation.
Family and friends of the victim are grieving together, and remain filled with many questions.
It is tradition in Ethiopian culture to mourn the death of a loved one for as long as a month. The pain of losing Abayneh will last much longer than that.
Abeselom Solomon is Abayneh’s nephew, and the last person to see her on the night of Thursday, July 3.
"I can’t even tell you how I’m feeling right now,” Solomon said. “I’m mad, upset, I’m sad.”
Divorced with no children, Abayneh lived with close family members. On the morning of Independence Day, the 43-year-old was found dead in her room at their apartment on Derby Court. Authorities say she was strangled; there were no signs of a break-in or struggle.
“We’re just trying to figure out what’s going on,” Solomon said. “We need some answers.”
Alexandria Police Sergeant Michael Kochis says detectives are working several leads in the case, but are asking the public to come forward with any new details.
“Just to know what she’s done in the past six months,” Sgt. Kochis said. “Who she’s been with, who she may have spoken to, may have had coffee with.”
According to family, Abayneh, a native of Ethiopia, spent practically all of her time either at church, working at a Falls Church cafe or at her Alexandria home.
“Everyone wants to know what happened, what the truth is,” said next-door neighbor Fawzi Kairouani.
Beletu Worku, Abayneh’s sister, says she now feels incomplete, calling Abayneh a “100 percent good person.”
Family members are also pleading with the public to come forward with any information pertaining to Abayneh’s murder.
Police say this is a complex case, and at the moment they do not have any suspects or possible motive.