Convicted Felon Jailed on Weapons Charges Resembles Sketch of Wanted Killer

By Jaime Lutz

Mar 15, 2014 4:57pm

A convicted felon jailed on weapons charges resembles a sketch of a murderer wanted in a suburban Washington, D.C. town, police told ABC News.

Anonymous tips led police in Alexandria, Va., to Charles Severance, who was arrested Thursday in West Virginia. He is currently being questioned in three slayings, though investigators haven’t directly tied him to them.

ABC charles severance serial killer mugshot split h jt 140315 16x9 608 Convicted Felon Jailed on Weapons Charges Resembles Sketch of Wanted Killer

Charles Severance, left, was arrested 2014 for a weapons charge. Charles Severance, left, was arrested 2014 for a weapons charge. | A police sketch of suspected serial killer in Alexandria, Va. (ABC News)

“It is premature to name him as the only possible suspect,” police said in a press release.

Severance bears a resemblance to a man pictured in a police sketch that was released in connection with the shooting of piano teacher Ruthanne Ladato. She was shot in her home in February after opening her door to a stranger. Her caretaker also was shot, but survived.

Alexandria police said the killing was similar to last year’s slaying of Ron Kirby, a local transportation official, and the 2003 killing of Nancy Dunning, a police chief’s wife. The similarities of the three shootings have made police consider the possibility that they are linked, investigators said during a February news conference.

“Everybody is talking about it,” said Ellen Epstein, a local resident. “That’s the only thing. It’s really affected everyone but nobody knows the facts.”

Severance is currently being held at the Northern Regional Jail in West Virginia, according to Wheeling, W. Va., law enforcement. Severance has an extradition hearing on Monday that could lead him to being transfered to Virginia.

He is being held on a $100,000 bail.

 

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