HERNDON, VA – In a case that has left a quiet Herndon neighborhood baffled, a 23-year-old au pair has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection to a brutal double homicide that occurred in February.
The Fairfax County Police Department, after a seven-month-long investigation, has named Juliana Peres Magalhaes as the suspect responsible for the shooting death of 39-year-old Joseph Ryan. However, the investigation continues to unravel the mystery of who killed 37-year-old Christine Banfield, found in the same home with multiple stab wounds.
The chain of events leading to this tragedy began on February 24th, when police received a 911 call from the 13200 block of Stable Brook Way, near the Hattontown neighborhood. The initial call was made shortly before 8:00 a.m., but it was abruptly terminated. Thirteen minutes later, a second call was made, with both Peres Magalhaes and Banfield’s husband on the line. Peres Magalhaes first reported her “friend” as being injured, and then Banfield’s husband explained that he had shot an unknown man who had allegedly forced his way into their home and stabbed his wife.
Upon arriving at the scene, detectives were met with a harrowing sight. Christine Banfield was discovered in an upstairs bedroom, with severe stab wounds to her upper body, while Joseph Ryan, the alleged assailant of Banfield, lay nearby with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body.
The perplexing aspect of this case centers around the question of who killed Christine Banfield and why Joseph Ryan was in the house during the incident, given that there were no signs of forced entry. Despite the husband’s 911 call, police have emphasized the need to establish the facts surrounding the case.
During a press conference, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis revealed that a 4-year-old girl was also present in the home during the incident. Fortunately, she was unharmed and was safely taken from the scene by officers. While Peres Magalhaes cooperated with the investigation, Banfield’s husband declined to speak with detectives at that time.
After months of exhaustive investigations, including forensic evidence analysis and interviews, detectives concluded that Juliana Peres Magalhaes was responsible for the shooting death of Joseph Ryan. However, the mystery of what led to the fatal stabbing of Christine Banfield remains unsolved.
Peres Magalhaes is currently in custody, facing a second-degree murder charge and being held without bond. The investigation continues, as detectives pursue additional interviews and review digital and forensic evidence to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the tragic double homicide.