Police: UMW student murdered by roommate

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The suspect in an apparent homicide in Fredericksburg Friday afternoon has been caught and taken into custody.

Fredericksburg police searched for hours for Steven Vander Briel after he fled from a home where a female victim was found unconscious and later died.

The heavy police presence as authorities looked for Briel forced nearby James Monroe High School into a temporary lock-down. Briel was later located in the area of the Riverside First Church of God on Fall Hill Avenue and taken into custody for questioning.

He has been charged with first degree murder and abduction and is being held without bond at Rappahannock Regional Jail.

The victim, who has been identified as 20-year-old Grace Rebecca Mann, died after being transported from the residence to the hospital.

It has been determined that both Mann and Briel were students at the University of Mary Washington and lived together along with two other females in the Washington Avenue home where the homicide occurred.

There was no known relationship between the victim and the suspect other than as housemates, police say.

Police were called to the home around 3 p.m. after Mann was found unconscious in her room by her female roommates. One of them performed CPR before Mann was transported to Mary Washington Hospital, where she later died.

Briel was at the home when the roommates first discovered Mann in distress, but fled from the home on foot before police arrived on scene.

He was quickly identified as a suspect due to the suspicious circumstances surrounding Mann’ s death.

Several deputies and a bloodhound from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search for Briel along with deputies from the city Sheriff’s Office and a large number of officers from the Fredericksburg Police Department.

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