Murder and High-Tech Theft: Woman Allegedly Uses Slain Man’s Severed Thumb to Access Bank Funds and Personal Luxuries

WASHINGTON — In a gruesome case unfolding in Washington’s Brightwood neighborhood, a woman is accused of using the severed thumb of a man she referred to as her “sugar daddy” to access his bank funds. The victim, 53-year-old Fasil Teklemariam, was discovered in his apartment on Peabody Street NW with multiple fatal injuries, including blunt-force trauma to the head and a stab wound, according to official documents.

Police investigations reveal that Teklemariam’s right thumb was cut off shortly before or after his death, an autopsy concluded. He had incurred several traumatic injuries and had been deceased for approximately two to five days before his body was found by authorities on April 5.

Tiffany Taylor Gray, 22, was arrested earlier this month in Prince George’s County on a charge of first-degree murder while armed and is set for extradition back to Washington. Challenges in securing legal representation for Gray have emerged, as court records currently list no attorney for her.

Adding to the case, Audrey Denise Miller, 19, has also been charged with first-degree murder while armed. Surveillance footage prior to Teklemariam’s death notably shows him with Miller. Miller has been held without bond and awaits further court proceedings.

Additional persons of interest include two men captured by surveillance cameras entering Teklemariam’s apartment carrying various items in the days surrounding the fatal incident. Their involvement is currently under police investigation as possibly linked to the homicide.

Court records illuminated by statements from an anonymous witness describe a chilling scenario where the suspects purportedly amputated Teklemariam’s thumb. The witness also observed Gray allegedly using the severed thumb to conduct financial transactions from Teklemariam’s account, funding Uber rides and purchasing marijuana and alcohol.

Further details regarding the exact sequence of the murder have yet to be disclosed publicly. Last seen on footage the evening of April 1, Teklemariam returned to his apartment with Miller and briefly left again, only to re-appear moments later with three cans of soda. Subsequent records document suspect movements away from the apartment after Teklemariam’s phone last transmitted signals from the area later that night.

As the investigation progresses, critical pieces of evidence including Teklemariam’s thumb, cellphone, tablet, and other electronics have not been recovered, posing potential challenges to the ongoing case.

Authorities continue to piece together the events leading to Teklemariam’s death as the community reacts with alarm and the legal process unfolds. Further court appearances and investigatory updates are expected as the judicial process advances in this harrowing case of murder and alleged betrayal.