Fairfax County Police suspect foul play in disappearance of 72-year-old Lorton woman

Fairfax County police say they suspect foul play in the disappearance of a 72-year-old Lorton woman last seen a week and a half ago.

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Police said Monday that when they responded to Emily Lu’s home on June 4 they found her car with groceries still in it and evidence that Lu may have been hurt inside her home.

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They went to the home in the 9200 block of Davis Lane around 2:30 p.m. after her employer requested a welfare check when Lu did not show up for work.

"We are just all terrified," said co-worker Erin Coelho.

Coelho said she’s worked with Lu for at least five years at Home Instead, a senior care facility in Annandale. She said Lu would call if she was going to be even a minute late so she knew something was wrong when Lu didn’t show up Friday.

"We immediately we began trying to reach her, we knew something had to be wrong for her not to show up for that assignment," said Coelho.

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Police say further investigation revealed Lu was last seen at an Aldi on 1329 Gordon Plaza in Woodbridge around 7:52 p.m. on June 3. They released surveillance video of Lu paying for groceries, the same groceries detectives found in her vehicle.

Neighbor Kevin Mullins say he’s lived next door to Lu since their homes were built 26 years ago. He and other neighbors say Lu constantly rents out rooms out in her house.

"She pretty much kept to herself and we’ve never had any problems with her," said Mullins. "Her tenants have been an issue over the years."

He said at times there has been a "revolving door" of renters and he’s called the police on a few of them. Mullins said he believes the most recent renter moved out at the beginning of June. 

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He said the police search has been extensive with dozens of police cars at times, dogs, drones and even divers searching a pond behind Lu’s home.

FOX 5 saw a police drone searching behind the home Monday evening.

For now, the search for answers continues with neighbors and friends holding out hope.

"We want Emily to come home," said Coelho.

"We miss her, we love her."

"At this stage, no one has seen her for a week and a half," said Mullins. "So I’m afraid, afraid of the worst."

There was a home surveillance system at Lu’s home, but it’s not clear what evidence police may have.

Fairfax Co. police declined an interview Monday, but a spokeswoman said the chief of police is expected to hold a press conference some time this week.

They’re asking anyone with information to contact FCPD's Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 6.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text by typing "FCCS" plus tip to 847411.

Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars if their information leads to an arrest.