Man arrested in fatal stabbing of Washington DC runner

Ms Martinez had gotten engaged last Wednesday. Courtesy: BBC

Police have arrested a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a recently engaged woman who was running near her home in a trendy Washington DC neighbourhood.

Wendy Karina Martinez, 35, was attacked on Tuesday night only one mile from the White House. She died after seeking help at a nearby takeout restaurant.

Anthony Crawford, 23, has been arrested and charged with murder, police said. A motive for the attack is still unclear.

Friends describe Ms Martinez as “brilliant and a hard worker.”

“Wendy should have been shopping for her wedding dress on Friday,” said Kristina Moore, as she stood outside the restaurant where Ms Martinez sought help after the attack in the Logan Circle neighbourhood on Thursday.

What are the charges?

Anthony Crawford has been charged with first degree murder for what police believe was a random knife attack on Tuesday night around 20:00 (01:00GMT).

The Georgetown University alumna was stabbed multiple times, including in the neck, and went to a nearby Chinese restaurant for help.

Bystanders at the shop, including a nurse, attempted to save her life.

“We don’t have a motive,” Police Chief Peter Newsham said on Thursday, adding that it does not appear that there was any attempt to rob Ms Martinez.

Police say Mr Crawford has a criminal history, and they will be examining him for any mental health issues.

Mr Crawford was arrested in a park on Wednesday night and was transported to hospital with an injury to his hand, according to police.

Authorities said they received tips from the community after a surveillance image was released to help identify the suspect.

“This is one of those types of unsettling incidents that sometimes happen in large cities, but it seems like a singular incident,” said Chief Newsham on Wednesday, when a manhunt was still under way.

Who was the victim?

Friends say Ms Martinez enjoyed running across the nation’s capitol, and became engaged to her boyfriend last Wednesday.

Speaking after a police news conference outside the restaurant Ms Moore said: “Wendy lived here. She lived two blocks from here.

“This was her home and she loved it. She felt safe.”

She added: “There is a hole in our hearts that will never be replaced.”

Her mother, Cora Martinez, told the Washington Post that she was working in her dream job with a fast-growing start-up company.

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Browser also mourned the loss on Thursday, saying: “This is an outraged community. This is a woman who should be going to work today”.