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Morning Notes

The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Police Make Progress on Hannah Choi Murder Case — Fairfax County detectives believe they know the location of the man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend and dumping her body in a Maryland park, according to Police Chief Kevin Davis. He says the department anticipates apprehending Joel Mosso Merino, who has been on the run since March, “in the very near future.” [WTOP]

Circuit Court Officially Adds First Female Judge of Color — “Tania M.L. Saylor, the first woman of color to serve as a Fairfax County Circuity [sic] Court Judge will be presented her official commission on Friday, May 6, at 4 p.m. in Courtroom 5J of the Fairfax County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend the investiture ceremony.” [Fairfax County Government]

Key FCPS Official Named Fairfax City Superintendent — “The City of Fairfax School Board didn’t look far when picking its next superintendent. The board on Monday offered Jeff Platenberg the role. Platenberg currently works for Fairfax County Public Schools as the assistant superintendent for facilities and transportation services.” [WTOP]

Locally Owned Coffee Shop Opens in Newington — “Two neighbors who live close to the Landsdowne shopping center are now the owners of a new coffee shop. The locally owned Coffee In opened a few weeks ago and will celebrate its grand opening this Saturday at 6432 Landsdowne Centre Drive.” [Patch]

Herndon Foster Mother Starts Nonprofit — The nonprofit Foster the Family “will show up to a foster home, within the first 24 hours, with dinner, clothes, PJ’s, hygiene products and all the supplies a child needs, saving the parents an emergency trip to the store, and helping the child feel comfortable in what can be a scary transition.” [ABC7]

McLean Church Builds Labyrinth — “Trinity United Methodist Church dedicated a labyrinth as its new Prayer Garden on Easter morning between worship services…The labyrinth is surrounded by plantings and benches with lighting to facilitate an atmosphere worthy of spiritual reflection and meditation. It is the most significant labyrinth in scope and size in the McLean area.” [Sun Gazette]

South County Students Send Letters to Seniors — “In Lorton, Virginia, 92-year-old Bernice Alexander reads from just one of the dozens of letters received at her senior living community. They were written by teenagers at South County High School, and some come with artwork, paintings and cheery posters, too.” [NBC4]

County Adopts Bill of Rights for Kids’ Sports — “The Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood & Community Services (NCS), along with the Fairfax County Athletic Council, is pleased to adopt the Children’s Bill of Rights in Sports. Developed by the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program, this is a new resource designed to ensure that all children have a right to a quality sports experience.” [NCS]

It’s Wednesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 61. Sunrise at 6:08 am and sunset at 8:05 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Police and Hannah Choi’s sister talk at a news conference (via Fairfax County Police Department/Facebook)

Fairfax County police are still searching for the man they say killed 35-year-old Kingstowne resident Hannah Choi, whose body was found in Maryland by a passerby weeks after she went missing in early March.

Maj. Ed O’ Carroll, chief of the Fairfax County Police Department’s Major Crimes, Cyber and Forensics Bureau, called murder suspect Joel Mosso Merino, 27, of Kingstowne, the county’s “most wanted” person in a news conference on Monday (March 28).

According to a statement filed in court by FCPD Detective Jesse Thornton on March 24 as part of a search warrant, authorities believe his brother helped “in his escape from the area.” The statement says police are also trying to determine if others are helping Merino.

Fairfax County Police are searching for Joel Merino who they have charged with the murder of Hannah Choi (courtesy of FCPD)

Choi’s body was found in Piscataway Park in Maryland on March 24. Her identity was confirmed by a medical examiner, police said.

A representative for the Maryland’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said today (Friday) that autopsy results are still pending.

Police say they still want the community’s help in locating Merino. Information can be shared with detectives by calling 703-246-7800, option 2. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text or online.

The FCPD is offering a $40,000 reward for information about Merino’s whereabouts that leads to his capture.

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