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Reston au pair charged with murder in fatal shooting and stabbing case

Juliana Peres Magalhaes, 23, of Reston has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Joseph Ryan on Feb. 24, 2023 (courtesy FCPD)

(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Police have made an arrest in a fatal shooting and stabbing incident that occurred in the Frying Pan area nearly eight months ago.

The Fairfax County Police Department announced today (Thursday) that 23-year-old Reston resident Juliana Peres Magalhaes has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Joseph Ryan, a 39-year-old Springfield man who was killed at a house in the 13200 block of Stable Brook Way on Feb. 24.

The house belonged to the family of 37-year-old Christine Banfield, who was found that day in an upstairs bedroom with stab wounds to her upper body. She later died at a hospital.

The FCPD says officers were greeted by “an appalling scene” when they responded to the house shortly after 8 a.m.

Magalhaes, who worked for the Banfield family as an au pair, and Christine Banfield’s husband had jointly called 911, according to police.

“A 911 call was received where a woman stated her friend was hurt,” the FCPD said in a news release from Feb. 25. “A man then got on the line and stated he shot an unknown man who entered his home and stabbed a woman.”

Contrary to what Banfield’s husband allegedly stated in the 911 call, detectives now believe Magalhaes was responsible for shooting Ryan based on “forensic evidence and multiple interviews,” police said.

Banfield’s stabbing remains under investigation.

An initial tweet alerting the community to the incident indicated that the man who got shot — later identified as Ryan — was the suspect in the stabbing, but the police department now says it’s still working to figure out exactly what happened.

Erin Weeks with the FCPD’s violent crimes division confirmed at a brief press conference today that everyone involved in the case has been identified. Police don’t think Magalhaes knew who Ryan was when she shot him, but he and Banfield were known to each other.

“Detectives continue to conduct interviews and review digital and forensic evidence to determine the circumstances that led up to the fatal stabbing of Christine Banfield,” the FCPD now says.

Magalhaes is in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond, police said.

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