Woman, 27, Stabbed to Death While Walking Dog in Seemingly Random Attack, as Suspect Is Arrested

Margery Magill

A 27-year-old woman who moved to Washington D.C. to pursue her dreams was fatally stabbed multiple times Tuesday night while walking a dog in what police believe was a random attack.

Shortly before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Margery Magill, a California native who recently moved to the northwest section of D.C., had just finished walking a dog for a client on Irving St., near the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, when a man she encountered began stabbing her repeatedly, the D.C. Police Department says in a statement.

“I heard a scream and then an ‘Oh no!’ and then another scream,” local resident Chris Chambers told local station NBC 4.

They raced outside and “all we saw was a dog across the street with a leash and no human and we knew something was wrong,” he told the outlet. “We looked down and we found the young lady on the sidewalk in front of our house bleeding.”

Magill was rushed to the hospital where she died of her stab wounds.

Hours later, authorities tracked down her alleged killer, Eliyas Aregahegne, 24, also of Northwest, D.C., say police in the statement. He was arrested on Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder while armed.

He has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

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Police do not yet have a motive for the stabbing. Authorities do not believe Aregahegne knew Magill.

They are investigating whether he suffers from mental illness, The Washington Post reports.

“This is a very, very quiet block,” Newsham told reporters Tuesday night. “It does have a lot of pedestrian traffic. Very infrequently are we called here for violent crimes. It’s a very unusual circumstance.”

Grieving Dad Speaks Out

As authorities investigate, Magill’s family and friends are reeling from her senseless killing.

The upbeat, ambitious young woman was “minding her own business and somebody just decided to attack her,” her devastated father, Jeff Magill, of Yuba City, California, told The Washington Post. “I don’t know how you get a handle on somebody doing something like that.”

Police in D.C. called him early Wednesday to tell him that his beloved daughter had been killed, he told local Sacramento station CBS 13.

“It’s like the Twilight Zone,” he said. “Am I going to wake up and this is a big dream?”

Jeff Magill says he was very close to his daughter and would speak to her frequently by phone to hear about everything she was doing to fulfill her dreams.

“She loved D.C.,” he said. “That was probably her dream city to work and that’s why she went back there.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree from University of California-Davis in International Agricultural Development in 2015, she received a masters degree from Westminster College in London before landing a job as an intern at the Washington Center, a non-profit organization that matches college students with area internships, her father told CBS 13.

Magill grew up on her family’s small ranch, but had wanted to travel the world since she was a child, visiting more than 20 countries in her short life.

“She’s probably lived more in her life than a lotta people live their whole life,” her father told CBS 13. “She just was a positive person, fun-loving, helpful. She just loved helping people out,” he said.


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