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Au pair charged in mysterious double homicide that left boss dead in upscale Virginia home


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A 23-year-old au pair was arrested Friday in connection to a double homicide inside her boss’s upscale suburban Virginia home.

Juliana Peres Magalhaes was charged with second-degree murder after investigators were able to link her to the February shooting death of Joseph Ryan, the Fairfax County Police Department said.

The nanny has not been charged, however, with the murder of Christine Banfield, who died after being savagely stabbed in her Hattontown bedroom.

Peres Magalhaes was the one who called police just before 7:50 a.m. and promptly hung up before calling again three minutes later to report that her “friend was hurt,” police said at the time.

Banfield’s husband then grabbed the phone and told dispatchers he had shot an unknown man who stabbed his wife after entering their home.

Police noted that there were no signs of forced entry when they responded.

Officers found Banfield inside the home alive, but suffering multiple stab wounds to her upper body. Nearby, Ryan was dead from a gunshot wound to the upper body.

Banfield was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A 4-year-old girl was inside the home during the gruesome encounter but was taken from the home in safe condition.

“The truest victim of all of this is that poor girl,” Fairfax Police Chief Kevin Davis said at the time.

After more than seven months of investigation, police ruled Banfield’s husband wasn’t responsible for pulling the trigger.

“The truest victim of all of this is that poor girl,” Fairfax Police Chief Kevin Davis said at the time.

“Through forensic evidence and multiple interviews, detectives determined the au pair, 23-year-old Juliana Peres Magalhaes, of Reston shot Joseph Ryan,” deputies said in a statement.

“Detectives continue to conduct interviews and review digital and forensic evidence to determine the circumstances that led up to the fatal stabbing of Christine Banfield.”

After the shooting, Davis told reporters that Ryan was not a stranger to the Banfield family.

Banfield’s husband and Peres Magalhaes — who lived inside the home with the family — were both “present and involved” with police who arrived on the scene.

It is not clear whether Banfield’s husband was charged for initially lying to police.

Peres Magalhaes is at the Fairfax County jail without bond. Online court records show she had not yet entered a plea to the second-degree murder charge.

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