Women charged with killing "sugar daddy," cutting off thumb to access accounts

1 week ago 12

7/10: CBS Morning News

7/10: CBS Morning News 20:38

Police in Washington, D.C., have charged two women with murder for allegedly killing a man who witnesses called their "sugar daddy," court documents show. Audrey Miller, 19, and Tiffany Taylor Gray, 22, are also accused of cutting off the man's thumb in order to maintain access to his accounts.

Miller and Gray were taken into custody separately in recent weeks, as authorities with the Metropolitan Police Department searched for suspects in the deadly stabbing of 53-year-old Fasil Teklemariam several months ago. Police said Teklemariam was found dead with multiple stab wounds and a number of other injuries inside the bedroom of his apartment on April 5. 

Among the injuries was a missing right thumb, which had been cut off around the time of the killing or after Teklemarian's death, according to an affidavit for the arrests of Miller and Gray. They are two of five suspects listed in the affidavit. The others are men, with one of the three identified by police as 34-year-old Tommy Whack. He was charged in May in connection with the case.

dc-metro-police-cctv.png A still taken from CCTV footage appears to show one suspect entering Teklemariam's apartment building several days after his death. Metropolitan Police Department

Police said in the affidavit they found "evidence suggesting that cleaning agents had been used to conceal and/or eliminate evidence to conceal or obscure the actions of the suspect or suspects who had committed the offense." Some evidence remained at the scene, including footprints.  

CCTV video from the lobby of Teklemariam's apartment building appeared to show both suspects were there on the evening he was killed, several days before police discovered the body. The footage also allegedly showed three of the suspects, including Gray, returned on April 3 at around 2 a.m., allegedly to steal several items that belonged to Teklemariam. Stills from the footage appear to show multiple people wearing hooded sweatshirts and masks as they enter the building, and again as they exit with their hands full of various items in bags and boxes.

dc-metro-police-cctv-2.png Metropolitan Police Department

In addition to the victim's thumb, police also said Teklemariam's "cellphone, tablet, or any other such electronic device" remain missing.

A witness, referenced in court filings as someone involved romantically with one of the suspects, recognized Gray and Miller. Police said that witness told them Gray had visited the apartment building where Teklemarian lived at least twice before, and that he was her "sugar daddy."

The same witness said in an interview with investigators that "they, referring generally a group of involved people, cut the decedent's thumb off" and "also overheard something about the decedent being stabbed," the filings say. Police said the witness claimed to have observed Gray using Teklemarian's missing thumb to take money out of his account, pay for Ubers and purchase alcohol and other substances. 

The witness told authorities that Gray may have used Cash App accounts to collect money from Teklemarian as well. Teklemarian had previously filed a theft report against Gray for allegedly having something to do with his then-lost phone and $1,600 in charges to his Cash App account, according to police. 

After learning the address of Gray's College Park, Maryland, apartment, police used surveillance tapes at the building, where none of the suspects were trying to conceal themselves, to discover their identities and eventually locate them. Gray and Miller both face charges of armed felony murder in the first degree in connection with Teklemariam's death. 

Emily Mae Czachor

Emily Mae Czachor is a reporter and news editor at CBSNews.com. She covers breaking news, often focusing on crime and extreme weather. Emily Mae has previously written for outlets including the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed and Newsweek.

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