After being found injured inside her own D.C. apartment, a 71-year-old lady died. On Friday, I’ll return home. Her family claims that the man accused of assaulting her had threatened her two decades prior and had been freed from prison early due to the pandemic.
Sylvia Matthews, who lived in the unit block of Elmira Street SW, died as a result of the attack.
Michael Garrett, 66, of no permanent address, was detained and charged with attempted murder previously.
Matthews’ bereft family believes her death is unfortunate and that it may have been avoided.
“He shouldn’t have been on the street,” a relative added, who refuses to be named.
It wasn’t immediately known whether Garrett had retained legal counsel.
Matthews spent decades on Elmira Street. Neighbors alerted police around 7:30 a.m. on Friday when they heard a noise.
Someone had broken Matthews’ SUV windows and attempted to break into her home’s basement.
The police arrived, but the suspect had already vanished.
Matthews left her home at about 11:30 a.m. and returned several hours later. Her family said she believed the encounter was ended, but it wasn’t.
Her relative stated, “She went into the house, and he was in her house.”
Someone who had been assisting Matthews in cleaning up broken glass from the early-morning break-in contacted the cops again.
“He said he heard a scuffle and when he heard the scuffle, he called the police,” the relative claimed she was told.
Garrett was discovered alongside Matthews’ comatose body inside Matthews’ home.
He informed authorities that he had just arrived and that he had come to check on the victim, who was injured.
Matthews died the next day as a result of her injuries.
“Oh my gosh, we’re devastated,” her relative said animatedly. “It’s like the system failed us.”
Garrett allegedly broke into Matthews’ home in 1999 and chased her to a neighbor’s residence, according to court filings.
As COVID-19 spread across the convict population, he was caught and detained until being released on compassionate grounds in March.
Matthews’ family claimed they had never met Garrett but had heard of him. They believe Matthews and Garrett met in the Old Lorton Reformatory pharmacy, where Matthews worked, and Garrett was a prisoner.
D.C. The crime was initially classified as “domestic in nature” by authorities.
The police are collaborating with the US government. Garrett will face more charges, according to the attorney’s office.