WASHINGTON (AP) — Savvas Savopoulos was energized. He spent the day sprucing up his northern Virginia martial arts studio for its grand opening with his family’s longtime housekeeper. Around 5:30 p.m., his wife called, telling him to come home to watch their 10-year-old son because she had plans.

The housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez, was one of the last people to see Savopoulos alive.

The next day, May 14, firefighters were called to the wealthy executive’s Washington mansion, where they found the bodies of 46-year-old Savopoulos, his wife, Amy, 47; their son, Philip; and another housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa. All were slain before the fire was set, police said, and three had been stabbed or bludgeoned.

Now a week later, investigators have provided few details. Late Wednesday, they announced they had identified a suspect in the killings, 34-year-old Daron Dylon Wint, but released no information about what his motive might have been, or whether he knew the family.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Wint on charges of first-degree murder, the Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release.

Text messages and voicemails from the Savopouloses to their confused and frightened household staff suggest something was amiss in the house many hours before the bodies were found. Their blue Porsche turned up in suburban Maryland. It too had been set on fire.

The Savopouloses lived in Woodley Park, where multimillion-dollar homes are protected by fences and elaborate security systems and local and federal law enforcement officers are a constant presence, in part because Vice President Joe Biden’s official residence is nearby.

On Tuesday, half of their block was cordoned off by police tape, and a half-dozen police vehicles were parked near the $4.5 million house. Garbage bags blocked the burned-out second-story windows.

In the absence of solid information from law enforcement, speculation has run rampant about who might have killed them and why. No one broke into the house, police have said, suggesting the family may have known the killer or killers.

Then again, Gutierrez said in an interview Wednesday that the Savopouloses were not hyper-vigilant about security and sometimes left doors to the house or garage open. The family had expensive jewelry and a valuable art collection inside the home, she said.

Gutierrez said she believes someone was inside the house with the family before 3 p.m. last Wednesday, when Figueroa normally would have left for the day.

There was a stark contrast, Gutierrez said, between Savvas Savopoulos’ mood when he left the martial arts studio and the flustered-sounding voicemail he left for her at 9:30 that night. While he had said earlier that his wife was going out that night, he said in the voicemail that she was sick in bed. He said Figueroa was staying overnight. He also said Figueroa’s cellphone was dead and the family didn’t have a charger for it.

“It doesn’t make any sense. How come you don’t have another phone — iPhones are all over,” Gutierrez said. “He was kind of building stories.”

On the day of the fire, Gutierrez received a text message from Amy that read, in part, “I am making sure you do not come today.”

Gutierrez called Amy immediately, but it went to voicemail. She texted Amy but didn’t get a response.

Also that morning, Figueroa’s husband, Bernardo Alfaro, went to the house and knocked on the door, but no one answered. While he was there, Alfaro told WJLA-TV that Savvas Savopoulos called his cellphone and told him that Amy had gone to the hospital and Figueroa had accompanied her.

“My feeling was that somebody was inside,” Alfaro said. He continued trying to call his wife and got no answer.

The Savopouloses’ blue Porsche was parked on the street outside the home at the time, Alfaro said. After the slayings, police found the Porsche in a parking lot in New Carrollton, Maryland, about 13 miles from the house.

Police have released grainy surveillance videos of a person they said they want to interview about the killings, but they have not identified the person or said where the footage was taken. It was not clear whether the person in the video was Wint, or a second individual.

The Savopouloses’ relatives have made few public statements and have not returned phone calls.

The couple has two surviving teenage daughters who attend boarding schools in other states. Gutierrez said she has seen the daughters since the killings and that they were too distraught to speak.

Savvas Savopoulos was the CEO of American Iron Works, a construction-materials supplier based in Hyattsville, Maryland, that has been involved in major projects in downtown Washington. Company representatives have repeatedly declined to comment. Savopoulos moonlighted as a martial-arts instructor.

Gutierrez, who worked for the family for 20 years, said she feels guilty that she didn’t check on the Savopouloses.

“This is a nightmare for me. I can’t believe they are gone,” she said. “I loved this family very deeply and the little boy and my friend Vera.”

Neighbors, meanwhile, are anxious.

Michael Lerman, 83, an inventor and retired pilot who lives nearby, said he and his wife started turning on their security system when they go to bed at night. Previously, they had only activated it when they left the house.

“This is an area that could be a target for a lot of opportunistic people,” he said. “This is a super-affluent enclave.”

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23 thoughts on “Suspect Named in Killing of Wealthy DC Family, Housekeeper

  1. specialt757 on said:

    Cokes I agree, I was reading the details on MSN.com and it almost sound like this family was being held in some type of hostage situation, (just by what the text messages read, not wanting the housekeeper to come until the next day and so on. but there are still so many unanswered questions. Like they had a watch dog, nobody is mentioning where or what happened to the dog. The only evidence they have right now is that the Wint guy’s DNA was on a pizza crust found in the trash. In any event, it seems like it would have been more than one person who did these murders. This guy Wint, needs to turn himself in with a lawyer because if they happen to “find” him, he might not live long enough to make to the police station, let alone make it to trial.

  2. This whole story is confusing, there was not a break in, everyone in the house probably knew the person so he had to kill all of the witnesses. It seems to me that it would be difficult for one person to kill everyone in a house that size without someone getting away, calling 911 something! Prayers for the family.

  3. MacBen on said:

    Another savage… 14 percent of the population, over 85 percent of the violent crimes…Dont expect Rev Al to speak out on this or make an appearance.

    • it's my opinion on said:

      Are you stupid?! An entire family was killed including a child and you want to make this about Rev. Al…Get a life seriously!!!!!!

  4. I am happy they are getting close to closing this case. Crime is out of control and there is no reason to murder anyone let alone an entire family. Just senseless. I am beginning to wonder is it somehting in the water, social media, the hamburgers that is casuing these fools to do crazy crap. Now on on another note, i wish the MPD would use these same speedy resources, like the forensic labs to close some of these other unsolved murders in DC. Whether its a high profile case or your average Joe, DC MPD should investigate and close all cases the same. Happy they are close to bringing justice to this family and I hope that the DC police department would understand that all lives matter.

  5. it's my opinion on said:

    It doesn’t matter what color the person is, to kill an entire family…no…who ever it is, whether black or white, should pay dearly! “High tech lynching my foot”…throw the back at em….horrible..just horrible

  6. This entire case reeks like the morning after a republican free bar party.How did the dumb ass dc cops get a dna match in less than 72 hours?This smells like a high tech lynching. This guy is what the cops call a fan perp. First available negro.

  7. specialt757 on said:

    Jhuf for the most part, I believe (but I can’t speak for all) people want the “bad guy” to pay for his/her crime(s). The race of the perpetrator doesn’t matter, nor does his/her occupation. You appear to be on the “other” side on every posts notwithstanding the “facts” in the case just your pre-judices that blacks committed the crimes they have been accused of, no matter what. However, open your mind to the possibility that there is another side. “WE” the people…preempted by the Constitution of the U.S. includes blacks even though the creators never considered you or I human beings, just property. We get the same rights as anyone else, hate it or love it.

    • jhuf on said:

      On the contrary unless it’s a “smoking gun “incident I will always hold judgment till the facts, many of my comments are in response to those who don’t and if the accused is white he is a racist murderer who got up that morning wondering how many AA’s he would kill rather than he happened upon a person who just assaulted a store owner
      As far as the constitution goes history is not always pretty or pleasant but you do not
      Allow that to be a crutch or impediment to being a successful and prominent citizen
      Things you and I do or engage in today may be illegal and immoral 30,40,100 yrs from now , growing up in the 70’s we said things that would never be accepted in this day
      So I choose not to dwell on what was done to my ancestors and instead strive to teach
      my Decedents to be successful in this country not bitter and stuck in the past or using it as an excuse

    • jhuf on said:

      No I mean like pointing out how AA’s can and do commit heinous acts and
      We are not always innocent and without fault and blaming “the white man”
      just won’t cut it

  8. Anonymous on said:

    “Yeah Right Tell that to Officer Darian Wilson and the 6 cops in Baltimore” They know this, hence they have lawyers and their cases will be heard. Mr. Gray is the one who didn’t get his due process.

    • jhuf on said:

      Just like the suspects in Miss that killed the two cops they will get theirs as well, just like the suspect who killed the cop in Iowa just like the suspect that killed the cop in NYC , dont try to play a one sided game

  9. jhuf on said:

    Now if this THUG had encountered a white cop in his getaway and a struggle ensued
    Of which he was killed Al Sharpton and the Race Baiters could have turned him into
    an idol

  10. specialt757 on said:

    “they announced they had identified a suspect in the killings, 34-year-old Daron Dylon Wint, but released no information about what his motive might have been, or whether he knew the family. Then what is the connection? I hope they have more than they are sharing.

  11. blackspeak on said:

    This SOB should be hanged… unfortunately, DC doesn’t have a death penalty… this case is tailor-made forit…

  12. The police didn’t waste any time in solving these murders. There will be a “swift” trial and conviction. Race (white), money, and zip code talks in reference to justice in America.

    • All lives matter. I am glad they are getting close to closng this senseless murder. If only DC police dept would use this same speedy forensic lab to solve some of the many unsolved murders in DC that are not high profile, within the “90210” zipcode, your average Joe. Those types of senseless murders rarey get news coverage nor would you see th Chief and the entire DC Govt including the mayor on TV. one murder close to getting solved and many more unsolved for months, years…

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