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A Virginia man was arrested in the “heartbreaking” slaying of a missing elderly woman who vanished nearly two months ago.
Lu, 72, was last seen shortly before 8 p.m. on June 3 at a grocery store in Woodbridge. Law enforcement began investigating her disappearance the the next day after Lu didn’t show up to her job. Detectives found her car parked in her house’s driveway in Lorton.
Foul play was quickly suspected by investigators. In the weeks following her disappearance, officials carried out several air and ground searches. Evidence found at her home further cemented detectives’ suspicion Lu may have been forcibly taken. A $20,000 reward was previously offered for information related to Lu’s whereabouts.
On July 23, Lu’s body was found in a wooded area near a traffic circle in Lorton, Virginia. She was pronounced deceased at the scene. Lu had been missing for 50 days prior to the discovery.
"This murder is tragic,” Maj. Ed O’Carroll, bureau commander for Major Crimes, Cyber and Forensics for Fairfax County Police Department said in a press conference. “This murder is heartbreaking. Emily didn’t deserve what had happened to her. She did nothing wrong. This is not the outcome we desired or hoped for. It took 50 days for justice to come, but justice has arrived."
A possible motive in the slaying wasn’t released. However, police said Sayrs was a tenant of Lu’s. He was renting a room at Lu’s Lorton residence when she vanished. Her cause and manner of death haven’t yet been released by the medical examiner.
According to authorities, Sayrs called police from a ballpark and arranged to meet with detectives last week, according to the Washington Post. He later took them to Lu’s remains.
“Why did he call us last night? That’s a great question,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said. “Hopefully we’ll eventually have an answer to that.”
Detectives suspect Lu was slain on her property and her remains were later driven to the wooded area.
“Now it’s time for the criminal justice system to take it from here and hold Brian Sayrs accountable for the brutal, vicious murder of 72-year-old Emily Lu,” Davis added.
Lu had worked for a senior home care services company in Annandale for the past half-decade.
"At 72, her efforts in the community were that she was caring for others," O’Carroll stated. "So it’s so unfortunate that she is the 13th homicide in Fairfax County in 2021. But we will pursue justice."
Lu’s slaying marks the 13th homicide in Fairfax County this year. The investigation remains active. Investigators didn’t release additional information.
Sayrs is being held without bond at a Fairfax County adult detention center. He was arraigned on Monday. His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 21.
Attorney information wasn’t immediately available for the Woodbridge man on Monday.
Anyone with information related to the ongoing case is encouraged to call Fairfax County Police Department’s Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, extension 6 or by submitting an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS.
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