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    Sheriff’s Office to re-examine 1987 murder

    The Loudoun County Sheriff's Department announced Dec. 4 that its Cold Case Unit is reopening the investigation of a 1987 murder.

    Pennsylvania resident Charlotte Powell, 27 years old at the time of the incident, was last seen by her family in July of 1987. On Dec. 8, 1987, her skeletal remains were found in the woods near the gas and power lines off of Shreve Mill Road, just outside of Leesburg. Police believe she was raped and murdered.

    Powell was known to hitchhike and may have traveled in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia. Her family called her a "free spirit."

    The Cold Case Unit is requesting assistance from the public in the investigation.

    “Detectives with the Cold Case Unit believe with the passage of time, someone may be willing to come forward with information that may be the key to solving this cold case and help bring a sense of closure to the Powell family,” Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman said.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit at 703-777-0475. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are asked to call Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919 or toll free at 1-877-777-1931.

    For more information on the Charlotte Powell case or to submit a case online, visit or

    The cold case initiative was started in January 2012 to take a closer look at unsolved cases in the county.


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