Bizarre Incident at Shopping Center Where Vanessa Pham Was Last Seen

Strange man jumps into woman’s car

By Matthew Stabley
|  Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011  |  Updated 11:49 PM EDT
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Police in Fairfax County need your help tracking down a man who may have tried to abduct a woman outside a popular shopping center.

Pat Collins

Police in Fairfax County need your help tracking down a man who may have tried to abduct a woman outside a popular shopping center.

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A woman reported a suspicious incident last month at the same shopping center where Vanessa Pham was last seen before her death in 2010.

About 8:30 p.m. Oct. 27, a 33-year-old was getting in to her car at the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center on Gallows Road when a stranger got in on the passenger side, police said. The woman screamed and ran, but she returned after realizing she had left her purse.

When the woman returned to the car, the man was standing next to it on the driver’s side. He walked away without taking anything and without injuring the woman, News4's Pat Collins reported.

Police want to talk to that man as well as the people in the vehicle that stopped to assist the woman when she screamed.

Police hope this may lead to a clue in the fatal stabbing of Pham in the summer of 2010.

The 19-year-old art student was found stabbed to death in a car in a ditch along Arlington Boulevard in Annandale after police received a report of a crash. Her injuries were inconsistent with the crash, and her death was ruled a homicide.

Pham had visited a business at the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center about a half hour before her body was found. She appeared to be fine at the shopping center.

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