HERNDON, VA – A 23-year-old au pair has been taken into custody in connection with a brutal double homicide. The fatal crime occurred at a Herndon residence in February, according to Fairfax County police. Juliana Peres Magalhaes faces charges of second-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Joseph Ryan. However, authorities have not yet determined who killed 37-year-old Christine Banfield, who was also found in the home with multiple stab wounds.
The investigation into this tragic incident began on February 24 when officers responded to a call from the 13200 block of Stable Brook Way, near the Hattontown neighborhood. The initial 911 call was abruptly disconnected, but a second call, placed 13 minutes later, had both Peres Magalhaes and Banfield’s husband on the line.
Peres Magalhaes initially informed the dispatcher that her “friend” was injured, while Banfield’s husband claimed that he had shot an unknown man who had allegedly broken into their home and attacked his wife.
When detectives arrived at the scene, they were confronted with a gruesome sight. Banfield was discovered in an upstairs bedroom with stab wounds to her upper body, while Ryan, the man accused of stabbing Banfield, was found nearby with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body. Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene, while Banfield succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital.
Police have not yet confirmed whether Ryan was responsible for stabbing Banfield or why he was present in the home during the incident. Notably, there were no signs of forced entry.
Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis stated that a 4-year-old girl was also present in the home when officers arrived, and she was safely taken from the scene. While Peres Magalhaes cooperated with investigators, Banfield’s husband refused to speak with law enforcement.
After months of forensic analysis and numerous interviews, detectives have determined that Peres Magalhaes shot Ryan and not Banfield’s husband, who remains unnamed at this time. Peres Magalhaes has been charged with second-degree murder and is currently in custody at the adult detention center without bond.
The police investigation into the double homicide incident is ongoing. Detectives continue to conduct interviews and examine digital and forensic evidence to uncover the events leading up to Banfield’s tragic death.