Wynetta Wright shot dead; Richmond Phillips charged with
Wynetta Wright, who was found dead Thursday, was killed by a shot in the head, Julie Parker of ABC7News reports. Her 1-year-old daughter Jaylin Wright died of heat exposure inside a car, autopsies of the two bodies have revealed.
A D.C. police officer and the father of Jaylin has been charged Friday with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death of 20-year-old Wright.
The suspect, 39-year-old Richmond Phillips, has been a vice detective with the Metropolitan Police Department since 2003. Parker reports he worked as a narcotics officer.
Phillips is apparently married to another woman and already has a 12-year-old daughter.
Baby left to die in car in 100-degree heat
Police believe Phillips lured Wright to the woods behind a Hillcrest Heights community center Monday night and killed her. He then left the baby to die strapped in her car seat in 100-degree heat, police believe.
Police say that Wynetta was found lying in Oxon Run Stream Valley Park in the 2300 block of Oxon Run Drive on Thursday. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Shortly thereafter, Jaylin was found abandoned and dead in a vehicle in the 2400 block of Southern Avenue.
“It's a tragic incident obviously. We would hope that no one would have to endure this type of incident and anybody that's guilty of it needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Lt. Col. Gary Cunningham.
Phillips’ mother: ‘I didn’t raise him like that’
Ruth Phillips tells ABC7 News she doesn't believes her son commited the crime he is charged with.
"He's a policeman and why would he do something stupid like that?” said Ruth Phillips. "I didn't raise him like that. I didn't raise none of my sons like that," she added.
She said Phillips is a married father and she knew nothing of the Wrights. "Well, the officer was asking me, did I know a Jaylin Wright. I said ‘I only have one granddaughter,’” Ruth Phillips said.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier called the homicides a "horrific crime."
"As we have seen all too often, domestic violence has its impact on the most innocent victims," Lanier said in a statement. Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump says that Phillips’ police powers have been revoked.
A large number of police officers were investigating at the two locations along the border between D.C. and Prince George’s County in connection with the case.
Police say Wright was last seen in the 2900 block of Oxon Run Drive on Monday, May 30th. Wright's mother told police that Jaylin's father had called Wynetta and asked her to meet him at the community center around 10 p.m. Monday.
She says Wynetta and the child's father were scheduled to attend a custody hearing the next day. Wright's green Saturn SUV was recovered in a parking lot near the intersection of 24th Street SE and Southern Avenue.
Police were also searching for evidence at the Hillcrest Heights Community Center, which is about half a mile from where Wright's vehicle was recovered.
Wright had been a member of the Prince George's Sheriff Explorer program and wanted to become a deputy in the department, a sheriff's office spokesperson says. She was planning on applying to the academy.