Crime and Courts

Slain ‘sugar daddy's' severed thumb used to access his finance app, DC prosecutors say

Investigators have found neither the victim’s thumb nor the electronics stolen from his home

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An alleged sugar daddy’s severed thumb was used to steal from the man after his homicide, prosecutors say.

Pictures show Tiffany Taylor Gray, 22, and 53-year-old Fasil Teklemariam, entering his apartment on Peabody Street NW on April 1, according to an affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court. One witness told police Teklemariam was Gray’s “sugar daddy.”

Teklemariam’s body was discovered in the apartment April 5, police said. According to the affidavit, he suffered head trauma, he had been stabbed, and his right thumb had been cut off.

A witness told police the thumb was used to gain access to a finance app on his cellphone and buy liquor and drugs.

Surveillance cameras mounted outside two entrances to the building, in the foyer and in the hallway leading to the victim’s apartment captured Gray, 19-year-old Audrey Miller and two men — one who has been identified but not charged — coming and going from the building over several days, according to the affidavit. The suspects used the victim’s key fob to get in and were seen carrying items out of the apartment, investigators said.

There also was evidence suggesting cleaning products had been used to conceal or remove evidence.

Investigators got a break in the case when they learned of a complaint Teklemariam filed with D.C. police last year claiming Gray had taken his phone and used it to steal $1,800 his finance app, police said. Then investigators learned Teklemariam’s cellphone last pinged from a tower in College Park, Maryland, not far from where Gray rented an apartment.

A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said the claim Teklemariam was Gray’s sugar daddy has not been verified. Investigators do believe the victim’s severed thumb was used to access his phone.

Investigators have not found the victim’s thumb nor the electronics stolen from his home.

Police arrested Miller on June 21 and charged her with first-degree murder and armed felony murder. She is in custody awaiting a preliminary hearing.

Police arrested Gray in Prince George’s County on July 1 on a warrant charging her with first-degree murder and armed felony murder. She awaits extradition to D.C.

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