Charlottesville Police: Rugby Ave. Murders Not Random
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville police held a press conference Tuesday morning following the arrest of Gene Everett Washington Monday night. Washington has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of 58-year-old Robin Christine Aldridge and her 17-year-old daughter Mani Viktoria Aldridge. Authorities say they arrested Washington on a probation violation Monday and then later charged him with the murders.
At the press conference Tuesday, Charlottesville police confirmed that Mani and Washington knew each other and that the this was not a random act. Police say they can't give any details about the nature of their relationship at this time.
Police say Robin and Mani were murdered in their home at 1627 Rugby Avenue on Friday, December 5. Charlottesville police and fire units responded to their home around midnight Friday in response to a structure fire. Robin and Mani's bodies were discovered inside.
Police said in a press conference Monday that Robin and Mani were beaten to death before their house was set on fire. Authorities believe after killing the Aldridges, Washington stole their car. The car, a light blue Mazda was found in the Barracks West Apartments complex where Washington lived. Neighbors say Washington lived there with several other people, including his mother and girlfriend.
Police searched Washington's home for evidence Tuesday. They are still looking for any surveillance video between Rugby Avenue and Barracks West Apartments.
Longo says police still have work to do on the case. "This is an ongoing investigation and any and all information we can obtain from citizens who have knowledge - firsthand or secondhand - we certainly would like to hear that information," he said.
NBC29 searched Albemarle and Charlottesville court records Tuesday and found Washington has been in trouble with the law before - for things like grand larceny, breaking and entering, and distributing cocaine.
Washington is due in Charlottesville General District court on February 19 and Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on February 20 on the first-degree murder charges. Police say additional charges may be added.