Slow Progress Being Made in Dunning Case

Slow Progress Being Made in Dunning Case

Sister of murdered Del Ray woman claims innocence.

Nancy Dunning was murdered in her Del Ray home more than five months ago and law enforcement sources say that the investigation remains wide open.

Dunning's body was found by her husband, Alexandria sheriff James Dunning, and their son, Chris, on Dec. 5. Since that time, members of the Alexandria community have established a reward fund of $100,000 and police have made repeated appeals for information. They released a photo from a security camera, believed to be at the local Target store at Potomac Yard. The man in that photo has not been identified.

There was early speculation that Nancy Dunning's sister, Christine Niedermeier of Connecticut, was a "person of interest" in the investigation. Niedermeier has repeatedly denied any involvement in her sister's murder.

"There has been misleading and incorrect information in the press for the past five months," Niedermeier said. "Local authorities in Alexandria have told me that they do not believe that I was involved in my sister's murder.

"This has been a very difficult time for me and for all of my family. When you lose a loved one in any manner, it is difficult but to lose someone in such a violent way is even more difficult.

"I believe that there are people in the Alexandria community who may have information about my sister's murder and I urge them to come forward and share that information with the police," she said.

Amy Bertsch, a spokesperson for the Alexandria police department would not comment on Niedermeier's statements. "We do not discuss anyone who may or may not be involved in an ongoing criminal investigation," Bertsch said.

LAST WEEK, the sheriff was seen entering the building that houses the police department's criminal investigation division with his attorney, Plato Cacheris. While Bertsch would not confirm that he was there for questioning, other law enforcement sources said that he came for "routine, followup questions."

"I am hopeful that the police will solve my sister's murder," Niedermeier said. "I would encourage them to conduct a thorough and careful investigation, wherever it may lead."