Chief

Woman Killed in Southeast DC Held Baby in Her Arms, Neighbor Says

The victim told police just hours before she was killed that her son's father was threatening her, a friend told News4

A 31-year-old woman was stabbed to death in Southeast D.C. Wednesday in what police are calling a domestic murder.

Paula Renee Coles died with her 11-month-old son in her arms, one neighbor said.

The mother of three had a stay-away order against the infant's father and told police just hours before she was killed that he was threatening her, a friend told News4. Police are looking to question the father of the infant, sources told News4.

The search for Coles' killer continues as people who knew her wonder if her death could have been prevented.

Coles was attacked on the 3000 block of 30th Street SE, D.C. police said.

A neighbor said she discovered her body in the hallway of her apartment building. She heard a baby crying and went to see what was wrong.

"I looked and she was there, with blood, and the baby was there with blood on him," the neighbor said.

The victim appeared to have been stabbed multiple times, neighbors said.

First-responders arrived about 9:50 a.m. and pronounced Coles dead.

She told police a day before she was killed that her child's father was threatening her, a friend said. Police went to the home and took a report, but it's unclear what happened then.

"They was like, if ain't nothing happened, wasn't nothing they could do," the friend said, asking not to be identified. "They came twice. She called them twice -- yesterday morning and yesterday evening."

Police said they have not established a motive or named a suspect.

On the scene, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham spoke about conflict resolution.

"People have to find another way to resolve these disputes. This is horrible. This is a young mother who's lost her life unnecessarily," he said.

Detectives were working furiously Wednesday night to find the woman's killer.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call police at 202-727-9099. Information can be submitted anonymously by sending a text message to 50411. A reward of as much as $25,000 is offered. 

Contact Us