Loudoun Week

Loudoun Week

News in Brief

Aug. 14, 2002

Police Say Missing Girl Murdered

On Tuesday, Northern Virginia Medical Examiner's Office made a positive identification on the human remains discovered on Aug. 9 in a wooded area in the Beaumeade Industrial Park in Ashburn.

The deceased was positively identified as 14-year-old Erica H. Smith of Ashburn. The case has been ruled a homicide.

Smith's parents reported her missing was reported missing on July 29. She was last seen in the Cascades Commons area walking with friends in the evening hours of July 30.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding this case to call Investigator Jamie Koontz or Investigator Bobbie Ochsman of the Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. Anonymous tips can be made to CrimeSolvers at 703-777-1919.

<sh>Adelphia Cable Continues Loudoun Plans

<bt>Adelphia Cable will remain in tune in Loudoun, though the company is engaged in a corporate scandal with the founders of Adelphia Communications Corp. under investigation for fraud.

“Locally, we are operating as normal,” said Peter Quam, general manager of Adelphia Cable, which has seven franchises in Loudoun and is based in Sterling. “We are continuing with our construction projects; growing our advanced products, our cable modem products and our digital products; and also adding staffing.”

Adelphia Cable is expanding to an 860-megahertz band width and upgrading to a two-way plant to allow for more video programming. “We are actually being more aggressive than we have been historically,” Quam said. "Overall, we're doing very well in this market, and we plan to continue that."

The county’s franchise agreement with Adelphia Cable expires in 2005. The company purchased Cable Vision of Loudoun in 1999 and is the only cable provider operating in the county.

“We don’t see any impact on us, at least in the immediate future,” said Lorie Flading, cable television administrative specialist for the county.

<1b>—Shelley Widhalm

<sh>LCSO Finds Human Remains

<bt>Two workers taking a walk on their lunch break Aug. 9 found what the Sheriff's Office later identified as human remains. The remains were located in a shallow grave in a wooded area in Ashburn's Beaumeade Industrial Park.

Crime scene investigators confirmed the next day that the remains belonged to a human and determined them to be from a female. The remains will be transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner for an autopsy. The autopsy will be used to help determine the age, race and identity of the remains and is expected to take several days.

<sh>Drug Users Step Back to Crack

<bt>Crack and cocaine are becoming the drugs of choice as they once were in the 1980s, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office noted a rise in the number of drug-related cases this year that involve crack and cocaine. At the same time, the office saw a drop in the number of cases involving ecstasy.

"The range of drugs we're seeing in the county has changed," said Kraig Troxell, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office.

The narcotics division worked on 400 drug-related cases last year and another 370 cases so far this year.

sh>Accident Kills South Riding Man

<bt>At 1:48 a.m. on Aug. 9, Loudoun County sheriff's deputies responded to John Mosby Highway near Fleetwood Road for a report of an automobile fire. On arrival, deputies discovered a single vehicle that appeared to have been involved in an accident and the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.

Fire and rescue personnel from Middleburg, Arcola, Aldie and members from the Fire Marshal's Office also responded to the scene. Those units quickly extinguished the flames coming from the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle, Paul Joseph McCarty, 36, of South Riding was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators from the Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit have determined that McCarty was driving westbound on John Mosby Highway when he lost control of his vehicle. At this time, the preliminary investigation indicates that McCarty's vehicle ran off the road, struck a tree and overturned. Witness accounts indicate that there may have been another person who witnessed this accident and may have stopped at the scene.

Anyone with information regarding this accident is asked to call DFC Cenate at 703-771-5798. The cause of this accident is under investigation.

<sh>2 Injured in 5-Car Accident

<bt>Loudoun County sheriff's deputies responded last Monday at 7:20 a.m. to the report of a multi-vehicle accident at Route 28 and Sterling Boulevard. Five vehicles were involved in the accident located in both the northbound and southbound lanes of Route 28.

On investigation, deputies determined that Juan Jose Duarte-Cordon, 19, of Springfield, was driving northbound on Route 28 when he rear-ended a vehicle. The vehicle, driven by Russell Fuller, 33, of Herndon, was in the left-hand turn lane attempting to turn onto Republic Drive. On impact Fuller's vehicle was pushed into northbound traffic where it was struck by a third vehicle driven by George Ross, 27, of Alexandria. Ross' vehicle was sent over the median into southbound traffic where it was struck by Duarte-Cordon and a fourth vehicle driven by Andrew Faust, 26, of Warrenton.

Ross' vehicle traveled across Route 28 and came to rest when it was caught in a chain link fence. Duarte-Cordon's vehicle then struck a fifth vehicle driven by James Traeger, 59, of Sterling.

Fire and rescue personnel from Sterling responded to the scene and extinguished flames that were coming from Duarte-Cordon's vehicle.

Duarte-Cordon was taken to Loudoun Hospital Center where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. He was not wearing a seatbelt. Traeger was taken to Loudoun Hospital Center where he was treated and released. Duarte-Cordon has been charged with reckless driving in the incident.

<sh>Man Charged in Road Rage Incident

<bt>On Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 4:10 p.m., Loudoun County sheriff's deputies responded to 22600 block of Glenn Drive in Sterling for a report of a man with a rifle. On arrival, deputies learned that two vehicles were driving northbound on Sterling Boulevard near Davis Drive when the driver of one of the vehicles, Charles Robert Hoffman, 21, of Sterling, allegedly gestured out of the window towards the driver of the second vehicle, Juan Rosell, 48, of Alexandria.

Hoffman then proceeded into a nearby gas station where Rosell followed him. At this point, Rosell reportedly produced a rifle from his vehicle and began waving it in the direction of Hoffman. Rosell then placed the weapon on the ground and a fight ensued between the two subjects.

During the altercation, Hoffman allegedly approached Rosell's vehicle and shattered the rear window with his fist. At one point during the incident, Rosell allegedly loaded the rifle and struck the rear window of Hoffman's vehicle with the weapon, causing it to shatter.

When sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene moments later, they witnessed Rosell standing in the parking lot holding a rifle. He was commanded to drop the rifle and was taken into custody without incident.

Rosell has been charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, assault and battery, destruction of property and reckless handling of a firearm. He is currently being held in the Loudoun Adult Detention Center without bond. Hoffman has been charged with destruction of property and was released on $1,000 secured bond.

<sh>Dog Bites Leesburg Woman

<bt>On Aug. 3, an animal control officer was called by a resident to investigate a report regarding a dog bite that occurred on Augusta National Terrace, Leesburg. The resident informed the officer that at 6 p.m. a dog entered her garage and bit her when she attempted to locate its collar. The dog ran out of the garage and the resident was unable to locate it.

The Loudoun County Department of Animal Care and Control is attempting to locate the dog and owner to assist the Health Department in determining if the animal has rabies. The victim described the dog as a white and gray husky-type dog. The dog was wearing a brown collar and a flea collar. If the dog is not located the victim will be required to have a series of painful rabies vaccinations. Anyone with information pertaining to this case is asked to contact Officer Meder at 703-777-0406.