More than 1,100 mourners came to Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church on Tuesday for the funeral of murdered University of Mary Washington history major Grace Mann.
Mann, a 20-year-old junior, was found strangled last Friday in the Fredericksburg home she rented off-campus. One of her roommates, 30-year-old Steven Briel, is charged with murder and abduction. He was ordered held without bond at his arraignment Tuesday morning.
The victim's other two roommates, women she had known since freshman year, were the ones who found her dead. They spoke at the funeral.
"Holly and I were lucky enough to spend the first minutes following Grace's passing by her side. We'd like to think that our presence brought her comfort as she left this earth to be with God," said roommate Kathryn Erwin.
Mann's father Thomas is a judge in Fairfax County's juvenile and domestic relations court. That's why there were so many sheriff's deputies at the funeral. Mann's mother also spoke at the funeral.
"This is simply a nightmare. Thank you again for all the love and kindness you have shown to Thomas and me but most importantly... thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving my very best girl," said mother Melissa Mann.
Fredericksburg police say they are still working to find a possible motive for the murder. They say Mann and her accused killer were home alone at the time. We do not know whether the suspect was anything more than just a roommate to Mann and her two friends.