Housemate charged with killing UMW student, daughter of Fairfax judge

Grace Rebecca Mann, 20. (Photo: Feminists United UMW)

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - The University of Mary Washington offered counseling to students Saturday after the slaying of a student and the arrest of her roommate on charges that he killed her.

Grace Rebecca Mann, 20, was found unconscious Friday in a Fredericksburg house she shared with two other women and Steven Vander Briel, who has been charged with first-degree murder and abduction.

Mann is the daughter of Thomas Mann, a juvenile and domestic relations court judge in Fairfax County, and Melissa Mann, The Free Lance-Star reported.

Police have not revealed how Mann was killed or a motive.

Mann was found by her two other roommates Friday afternoon, police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said. One of the women attempted to revive her but Mann was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Mary Washington Hospital.

Briel was arrested about two hours later after more than 20 police officers and K-9 units searched for him.

He was held without bond in the Rappahannock Regional Jail. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

The Free Lance-Star reported that Mann was active on campus, and had recently been appointed to a sexual assault task force. She was known on campus for her passion for gender equality and civil rights.

"She was a remarkable young woman," said Leah Cox, special assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion. "I still can't quite imagine not seeing her on campus."

Briel attended Mary Washington from 2002 to 2007. He re-enrolled for the spring 2015 semester and was majoring in political science.

Counseling services were made available to students on a drop-in basis starting Saturday afternoon.

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