LORTON, Va. - It has been a week since an 83-year-old retiree was shot to death inside his million dollar home on the Potomac River. It is a case that has so far baffled detectives.
There are no solid leads in the case and Fairfax County’s chief of police is asking for help.
The murder of Johan De Leede is a crime that has truly frightened the residents living in the Mason Neck section of Fairfax County.
Last Friday just after 1 a.m., neighbors along this peaceful and quiet section of the Potomac River heard two burst of gunfire, a short burst and then a longer one.
De Leede was sitting in a chair in a first-floor room off a porch looking out towards the river.
"This is very unusual for Fairfax County,” said Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler. “The majority of our murders are acquaintance murders, whether it is domestic or friends where they have had an argument. Here, we have no leads, no information to tie any suspects or any motives to it, so it is very unusual.”
We asked Roessler if police are aware of any enemies De Leede may have had.
“We have no credible information that would take us on a journey to track down a lead to develop any information on a suspect and that is the true mystery of this," he said.
De Leede was originally from the Netherlands and worked for the World Bank. Neighbors said he was often seen on the river sailing with his grandchildren or paddling a kayak. After his retirement, De Leede became an activist advocating for a bike path along Gunston Road.
Early in the investigation, neighbors wondered if the killer may have arrived by boat.
"We can't even confirm how the person got there,” said Chief Roessler. “I can tell you that our crime scene detectives have truly done an outstanding job. They spent many days at the house, on the grounds, in the neighborhoods and on the river processing everything they can to develop clues.”
The chief would disclose what kind of ballistic evidence has been recovered so far and urged anyone with a surveillance system in the Mason Neck area to examine what may have been captured on it early last Friday.
“Just this past Tuesday night, we held a community meeting at Gunston Hall,” he said. “We had well over 200 people in attendance and clearly there is fear in the community that this may be a random act of violence. We don't know that yet, but I want to assure the community that your police department is doing everything it can.”
Roessler said his department is keeping a constant eye on the area, but in order to close the case, his detectives need more help.
If you have any information, you are asked to contact police at 703-246-7800 or 1-866-411-TIPS.