A 27-year-old woman walking a dog as part of her work for the Seattle-based pet-sitting startup Rover was killed in Washington, D.C., this week in what police are calling a random attack.
NBC Washington reported Thursday on the death of Margery Magill, who was attacked on Tuesday evening and stabbed several times on a sidewalk in Northwest D.C.. Police arrested 24-year-old Eliyas Aregahegne on Wednesday and he was charged with first-degree murder while armed, according to NBC.
“This is a tragic and heartbreaking event,” a Rover spokesperson told GeekWire. “Our hearts and thoughts go out to Margery’s family. We will do whatever we can to assist the police in their investigation.”
Police said the slaying was not an attempted robbery or sexual assault. The suspect reportedly lived around the corner from the murder scene and police said home surveillance video aided in the arrest.
“The detectives did locate video of value,” D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a news conference. “I can tell you this, there are a number of registered video cameras in that block.”
While not specifying what types of cameras were instrumental in the arrest, it’s particularly interesting in light of other news this week in which Amazon-owned doorbell camera maker Ring said it is working with hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country in an effort to “make neighborhoods safer” by helping to connect its network of users with police.
D.C. launched a program in 2016 to incentivize residents and businesses to install install security camera systems on their property and register them with the Metropolitan Police Department to help deter crime and assist law enforcement with investigations.
Magill was a California native who was working for a nonprofit in D.C., according to NBC. She reportedly had a passion for animals and was walking someone else’s dog when she was killed.
Launched in 2011 at a Seattle Startup Weekend event, Rover has become a national leader with its platform connecting dog owners with walkers and sitters. More than 300,000 pet sitters and dog walkers list their services on the online marketplace. The company’s funding to date is $310 million.