Police in Washington, D.C. say the killing of Capitol Hill attorney David Messerschmitt (pictured) looks suspiciously like a “pick-up” murder.
30-year-old Messerschmitt was found stabbed to death in a room at the Donovan Hotel near Thomas Circle on February 10 shortly after his wife reported him missing.
Kim Vuong called police at around 1:50 a.m. on February 10 after her husband failed to return home from work. She told police “everything seemed fine” when they last spoke, and that she had received a text from him around 7:30 p.m. the previous evening saying he would be home in an hour. Messerschmitt’s co-workers said he left the office around 5:30 p.m. on February 9.
Inside Messerschmitt’s hotel room police found a condom and lubricant, an enema, a wallet with credit cards, a computer and cell phone.
“The fact that they left a wallet with credit cards there is a head scratcher,” D.C. attorney Dale Edwin Sanders told the Washington Blade. “You would think this person would have walked off with them.”
Whether or not Messerschmitt was meeting another man for sex is not clear, but gay rights activists are calling for more transparency from police.
“I would hope that if the police have any evidence that the person David met was through a sex line–gay or straight–the public would be informed quickly so they can be aware of any danger to them,” said activist Peter Rosenstein.
“[I]f the LGBT community at large is at threat and they’ve got credible suspicion of that I wish they would let us know,” Paul Tupper, chair of the D.C. group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, added.
D.C. police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump said authorities could not comment on whether the case appears to be a gay or straight pick-up murder, but she did say the department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit was “aware” of it.
A $25,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Messerschmitt’s murder.