Victim-turned-suspect, Brittany Norwood, heads to Md. court in Lululemon murder case
(CBS/WUSA/AP) ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Lululemon Athletica employee once thought to be one of the victims of a brutal robbery that claimed the life of her colleague, will make her first court appearance in Montgomery County Monday, since being charged in the death of her co-worker after police determined the robbery was staged.
Brittany Norwood, 27, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Janya Murray, her colleague at the at a yoga clothing store in the affluent Washington, D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Md.
Murray told police that two masked men had entered the clothing store the night of March 11 and attacked and sexually assaulted her and Murray.
The next morning, another store employee found Murray dead inside the shop, and Norwood injured and bound.
But six days into the investigation, police say they have reason to believe Norwood's story was a lie and that she killed Murray during a dispute. Authorities have yet to disclose a motive, but say workers at the next-door Apple store reported hearing two women arguing. According to CBS affiliate WUSA, police do not know what the argument was about but they believe it was "work related," said Captain Paul Starks, Montgomery County Police Spokesman.
Montgomery County police chief, J. Thomas Manger, said police found only two sets of footprints inside the store, contradicting Norwood's claim that more people were inside the store. He also said that blood and forensics evidence believed to be connected to Norwood were found inside Murray's car several blocks from the store in the busy Bethesda shopping district; however, Manger would not further describe the evidence.
Authorities said Murray died of blunt force trauma and stab wounds.
Police say there is no evidence that supports anyone else being involved with the killing, but Manger said the investigation is ongoing.
Lululemon chief executive, Christine Day, released a statement Sunday stating that the company was grateful to police for solving the crime. She said the three local stores will be closed through Saturday.
"Our first priority remains with the families and team members affected by this horrible tragedy and supporting them through the next stage of the recent developments," the statement said.
A memorial service was held Friday night in Dupont Circle for Murray, who had been living in Arlington, Va.