Virginia

Front Royal Murder Victim, 19-Year-Old Leah Adams, Was Stabbed; Boyfriend Is Suspect

The victim's father wondered whether his daughter's attacker was on "some type of drug"

The 19-year-old woman who died after a violent confrontation in Front Royal, Virginia, on Saturday, was stabbed in the chest, and her boyfriend is the suspect, officials say.

Leah Marie Adams, 19, died after she was attacked on the 100 block of Kerfoot Avenue about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, police said. Officials said Sunday that a 17-year-old boy was charged in her murder, but few details on what happened were released. 

Medical examiners said Monday that Adams died of a stab wound to the chest. The college student's 17-year-old boyfriend is the suspect, police said. His name was not released because of his age. 

Adams had a bright future, her father, Robert Adams, said. 

"She had big plans for herself," he said by phone. "She had a good job, she was going to school, she worked hard and she was full of personality. She had places to go and it was too soon for her to go."

Adams, the older sister to three brothers, worked at a bank call center and attended Lord Fairfax Community College after her family moved to Virginia from Wisconsin. 

She had just moved into her own apartment in Front Royal. Her father said he was told it was there that her teen boyfriend began acting strangely. The teen grabbed her car keys and went to take her car. Adams jumped into the car to stop him, her father said he was told. 

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Just blocks away, neighbors heard Adams screaming for help. She laid in the street bleeding. Near the same time, neighbors saw a car hit a mailbox and then take off.

The first 911 call described a possible hit-and-run. When first responders arrived, they saw the extent of Adams' injuries. 

The young woman was taken to a hospital, where she died. 

The driver of the car got out and ran, and was detained soon after. 

The information police released Sunday described injuries "that were not consistent with trauma sustained as the result of a vehicle crash or hit-and-run." 

The 17-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with second-degree murder. 

Adams' father said he was stunned the high school senior is the suspect. 

"It's possible he was on some type of drug that made him go crazy," Robert Adams said. "They got along very well, so we were shocked to hear everything that happened."

The pair had dated for a few months, the victim's father said. He said he was torn between anger for the teen suspect and sympathy for his family. 

"Part of me actually wants to hate the kid, but I have a really strong faith, a really good church, and part of me wants to forgive him," Robert Adams said.  

Lord Fairfax Community College sent condolences. 

"We at LFCC are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of one of our students, and offer our condolences to Ms. Adams's family, friends and fellow students," a statement from the school said.

The teen suspect appeared at a closed juvenile court hearing Monday. He is being held without bond and is due back in court in early April.

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