***Scroll down for updates***
30-year-old Washington DC lawyer David Messerschmitt texted his wife at 7:34 PM on February 9, 2015 letting her know that he would be home from work in about an hour. The next morning, he was found dead in a downtown hotel room about a mile from where he worked, having suffered multiple stab wounds to his back.
So what happened to David after he texted his wife?
That’s the question that police and David’s family and friends are still wondering, more than a month after his death.
Police say that about 10 minutes after David texted his wife, an unidentified person (gender unclear) was seen on surveillance video at the Donovan Hotel where he was found, walking into the hotel lobby. The person was wearing a hooded jacket and was seen pacing in the lobby and stopping to press an elevator button. Surveillance video then shows the person climbing the stairwell.
In the video, you may notice that the person gets into the elevator and pushes the button, but doesn’t go anywhere. According to the Washington Post, “the hotel elevators must be activated with a room keycard, making it difficult for visitors to get to guest floors without being escorted.”
Meaning most likely this person wasn’t a hotel guest.
According to the search warrant, police found a wallet with credit cards, an HP computer, computer bag, lubricant, condom, enema, and a cell phone in the hotel room. Additional credit cards and “identifying documents” were also “observed throughout the room.”
David’s wife, Kim Vuong, told police he was acting normally that day. She said she last saw him on Sunday, February 8, but that they texted throughout the day on Monday. She filed a missing persons report with police at about 1:50 AM on Tuesday, after David failed to return home. From the Washington Post:
In filing the missing person report, Vuong told authorities that it was “not like” her husband to disappear and that “he usually beats her home and would notify her if anything was to change.” She told police that “everything seemed fine today” when they talked by phone. The couple lived in an apartment on East Capitol Street near Stanton Park.
It’s also interesting to note that the Search Warrant Affidavit says that while they were looking for him, police called the hotel to ask if David was a guest there. It doesn’t specify how police knew he was there or what made them call that particular hotel.
A friend of David’s told reporters that David left work that day around 5:30 PM.
Law enforcement is offering a $25,000 reward for info leading to an arrest in this case.
UPDATE: 3/25/15 1:24 PM CST
David’s wife Kim just read a prepared statement outside police headquarters, talking about how great of a person David was and asking the public for help in identifying the FEMALE person of interest in the surveillance video.
UPDATE: 4/1/15 4:47 PM CST
Fox News is reporting that police have made an arrest in this case. Reportedly, a 21-year-old woman has been arrested and is currently in police custody. This story is still developing and I’ll post any updates below.
– Lawyer found dead in hotel room had been stabbed in back, police say
– Wife of man found dead in hotel tells police he had been acting normally
– Person of interest on surveillance video
– Woman arrested in murder of DC lawyer at Donovan Hotel