More than a year after two Virginia women were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities have arrested another member of the family and have charged her with staging the grisly crime scene to cover up her own killings.
When 23-year-old Helen Hargan and her mother, 63-year-old Pamela Hargan, were found dead in a house in McLean, a community in Fairfax County, in July 2017, police initially reported the murder-suicide theory — it was thought that Helen shot Pamela and then herself.
But at a press conference Friday, Fairfax County Police said detectives eventually determined that Helen’s sister, Meghan Hargan, was responsible for murdering the pair, according to WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. She was arrested Friday morning in her current residence of Monongalia County, West Virginia, and charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
“Tragedy struck in July 2017 here in our community,” Fairfax County Police Major Ed O’Carroll said at the briefing. “Today, justice prevails.”
O'Carroll added the 35-year-old Hargan tried to obtain money from her mother's bank account fraudulently on both the day of the slayings and the day before.
"I’ve known that it was coming, and now it's here. It was like it all blew up in your face," Tammy North, Pamela Hagan’s sister, told the outlet Friday.
She added that she believes both money and jealousy were a motive behind the deaths, adding that the women’s mother had bought Helen Hargan a house before both of the women were killed; Meghan Hargan was living at her mother’s home at the time of the killings.
Both women were shot in the head with a rifle. Although the medical examiner determined both women gunshot wounds to the head, police reconstructed the crime scene to try to determine if it was murder or suicide, in addition to interviewing Meghan Hargan twice.
It is not clear if the suspect has an attorney who can speak on her behalf. It is still an active case and more charges could be forthcoming.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
[Photo: Fairfax County Police Department]
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