By Carla Branch
Tonight Nancy Dunning’s friends and family will place luminaries along Mt. Vernon and W. Mt. Ida Avenues in her memory. Six years after Dunning’s murder, the tradition continues but no one has been charged with the crime.
Dunning, 56, was a popular Alexandria real estate agent and an activist in the Del Ray community. She was also married to then Alexandria Sheriff Jim Dunning, who, along with the couple’s son, found her body just inside their home. She was shot multiple times in the upper body, according to police.
After her murder, the community raised more than $100,000 as a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. In spite of an intense local investigation and a federal grand jury inquiry and a 2007 case review by the Vidocq Society, her murder has not been solved.
Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook is new to the job but not new to this case. “I have been involved in this case since the beginning,” Cook said. “When Nancy was killed, we made a promise that her murder would continue to be investigated and would remain on our table until it is solved. Over the years, we have had periodic reviews and have continued to resubmit forensic evidence for analysis because data bases are continually updated.
“The detectives are not receiving tips from the public any longer but we still want to hear from anyone who has information. My message to Alexandrians is to keep Nancy in your thoughts and know that we will continue to investigate this case,” Cook said.
If you have any information, call 703.838.4711. If you do not want to be considered for a reward and will not allow police to contact you for additional information, you may submit your information anonymously.