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Cops: D.C. corrections official murder may link to earlier case

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-- Police are looking into a possible connection between the murder Sunday of a high-ranking D.C. corrections official and another Alexandria, Va. murder that happened two months ago.

CBS D.C. reports that there are several similarities between the murders of 64-year-old Carolyn Cross, killed Sunday, and the July murder of 42-year-old Asabech Abayneh.

Alexandria Police Department spokesperson Crystal Nosal tells CBS News that the two crime scenes were about one mile apart, both victims had ties to the city's Ethiopian community, and each suffered similar causes of death.

An autopsy revealed that Cross died from blunt-force trauma to the head, smothering and strangulation. The cause of death in Abayneh's case was strangulation.

Cross was the he deputy director of operations for Washington, D.C.'s Department of Corrections.

Nosal said that despite the similarities, police have not yet confirmed any definite connection in the two cases.

"We'd be looking into evidence and seeing if there's any connection," Nosal says. "Since the suspect was charged with homicide we could also look at DNA. Detectives are going to be doing their normal investigation. Now they just have another focus."

Dawit Seyoum, 29, has been charged in Cross' death.