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Alexandria Police Continue Investigation of Suspicious Death in Holly Street Home

Brick Colonial just off Russell Road has history of break-ins.

Noon Thursday update — The victim of Wednesday night’s suspicious death has been identified as 94-year-old Elmer Roehrs.

Alexandria police detectives had been investigating a November 2012 burglary that occurred at the home where the victim was found.

The suspect in that burglary was located and arrested early Thursday morning by Alexandria police.

For the complete update, click here.

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Alexandria police are investigating the suspicious death of a 94-year-old white man Wednesday in a home in the 2700 block of Holly Street in Del Ray.

According to a myfoxdc.com report, the man was killed during an apparent burglary or robbery. Police said the man suffered trauma to his upper body.

The case is being treated as a suspicious death until police can move the body and analyze the scene, sources with information about the investigation told Patch late Wednesday. The cause and manner of death will be determined pending an autopsy by the medical examiner’s office. 

The police responded to a call of “trouble unknown” between 6:30 and 6:50 p.m. Wednesday, Alexandria Police Department spokesperson Ashley Hildebrandt said.

“Officers arrived and found the victim in the residence,” Hildebrandt said. “Medics arrived a short time later and pronounced him at the scene.”

See also: Updated: Alexandria Police Investigating Suspicious Death on Holly Street in Del Ray

The victim’s identity is being held pending notification of next of kin. Sources with information about the investigation told Patch the victim’s stepson discovered the body.

The brick Colonial home has a history of break-ins. David Bouk, a resident of the house, reported two burglaries at the home in 2011. He even addressed City Council about the “persistent” issue that March, mentioning one of the burglaries occurred while he took his “mother’s husband” to the hospital.

“Crime has apparently come to the neighborhood in a fairly persistent manner,” Bouk told council in 2011. “This is not something that we’re used to and I can tell you it’s ceasing to be funny real quick. … I just wanted to call this to the [council’s] attention that neighborhoods that haven’t been experiencing persistent crime are now experiencing it. … This is not just a random thing. This is persistent. … Both times [the house was burglarized] no one was home.”

Bouk said in those burglaries, jewelry and cash was taken from the house. A vehicle near the home was also burglarized that winter.

The residence is located near Holly Street’s intersection with W. Mount Ida Avenue and just around the corner from the home where Nancy Dunning, the wife of then-Alexandria Sheriff Jim Dunning, was found murdered in December 2003. That case remains unsolved.

No murders were recorded in Alexandria in 2012. Alexandria resident Bob Cory McNeely was murdered in the 1200 block of Wythe Street in October 2011. DC resident Fabian D. Johnson was arrested in Georgia that November and pleaded guilty to the murder. He is serving a three-year, five-month sentence. 

The Del Ray area has experienced an uptick in burglaries and robberies in 2013, including two gunpoint robbery incidents, two home break-ins and two business burglaries since Jan. 14.

On Monday night, members of the Alexandria Police Department briefed the Del Ray Citizens Association on investigations into those incidents.

Anyone with information about the Holly Street incident is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Section of the Alexandria Police Department at 703-746-6711.

Patch will provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

For the quickest updates, "like" Del Ray Patch on Facebook and follow @delraypatch on Twitter.

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