Eliyas Aregahegne, the suspect accused in the random stabbing of a Washington D.C. dog walker who had a passion for international agriculture and women’s empowerment, described himself as a once promising college student and scholarship winner. However, he only attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a semester years ago.
On August 27, 2019, police say, Aregahegne repeatedly stabbed a stranger with a promising future to death on the street in a vicious random attack. The victim was named as Margery Magill, 27, of Northwest, D.C. Police wrote that, on August 28, 2109, Eliyas Aregahegne, 24, of Northwest, D.C., was “arrested and charged with first degree murder while armed.”
“It’s absolutely tragic. I still can’t wrap my head around it,” Magill’s sister, Raeann Magill, told News4. “You know, out walking a dog and to be attacked like that. How can anyone even fathom that? I mean, it’s truly tragic and I even think to myself, why her?” Police say they don’t know.
Magill had a love of travel and a focus on giving back. She wrote on LinkedIn that she was currently “Program Coordinator – Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship” in Washington D.C. You can read more about her life here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Found Margery Magill Unconscious From Stab Wounds
In a news release, the Metropolitan Police Department wrote that an arrest was made in the homicide that occurred in the 400 block of Irving Street Northwest.
They described it as a “fatal stabbing” that occurred on August 27, 2019.
At about 8:49 p.m., police responded to the location for a “report of an unconscious person.” Upon arrival, they “located an adult female victim suffering from multiple stab wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital. After all lifesaving efforts failed, the victim was pronounced dead.”
The Washington Post described how a couple in the area heard cries of “Oh, no!” and “Help me!” and found Magill “lying on her back, bloodied, her eyeglasses on the sidewalk.” The dog she was walking was nearby, howling.
The motive is unclear, but police told the Post they can’t find any link between the suspect and victim. They also don’t think sexual assault or robbery were involved, The Post reported.
2. On Social Media, Eliyas Aregahegne Described Himself as a Former Student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison But He Only Attended the School for a Semester Six Years Ago
Eliyas Aregahegne wrote on Facebook that he was single, lived in Washington D.C., and was a “POSSE Scholar UW-Madison.” He also wrote that he was from Washington D.C. On Instagram, Aregahegne wrote, “18 y/o, Aries?. Ethiopian. UW-Madison Class of 2017.” Heavy contacted the UW-Madison PR office and learned that Aregahegne was briefly a student at Madison but not in 2017 as he wrote.
“Our records indicate he was enrolled at UW for one semester, in fall 2013,” Meredith McGlone, director of News and Media Relations for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Heavy.
Aregahegne posted photos of himself wearing a Wisconsin sweatshirt and of a Wisconsin Badgers game, writing with the latter picture, “1/3 of the city of Madison was at this football game. #madcity #badger.”
In 2016, he shared a link to an online IQ test and wrote, “hey guys check out my iq score!!” The actual score wasn’t clear from his page. “Hey man, we know how smart you are. ;) that’s awesome!!” a woman wrote.
Aregahegne responded, “is there any way to leverage this kind of thing?” Another friend responded, “work hard?” In 2015, he indicated that he was having a “quarter-life-crisis.” He described himself on Facebook as being “Free Spirit, I feel like being someone unchanging in an ever-changing and dynamic world best describes me.”
He shared a video of people praising President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
3. In 2017, Aregahegne Was Reported as a Missing Person
The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington D.C. wrote on Twitter in 2017, “#MissingPerson Eliyas Wendale Aregahegne, 22, last seen 7/15 in 3000 b/o 14th St, NW. Seen him? Call 202-727-9099 or text 50411.”
The police also shared a missing person’s poster. “He was last seen wearing a black jacket and black pants. Eliyas may be in need of medication,” the poster says.
On Instagram, Eliyas posted an ode to his dad, writing, “Happy Fathers day to the rock that holds my family together! Thanks dad for showing me how to be a MAN and always guiding me towards the right path, even when I stray from it. I know it’s been hard but thank you for being my personal hero and the man I strive to be! -Love you, Your favorite son ( well I’m your only son soo…) #myhero #fathersday.”
4. Aregahegne Was Once Part of a Mentoring Program
Things were going differently for Aregahegne once. He posted photos on Instagram of himself in a 2013 graduation cap and gown and of a mentoring certificate. With the latter, he wrote, “After four amazing years today was my last presentation and the end of an incredible journey with the dedicated mentors that volunteer their Thursdays (and sometimes more) with the ACE Mentorship program! Thanks again for sparking my interest in the STEM field and even if I don’t graduate as an engineer the lessons taught will always be with me. Thanks again!”
On its website, ACE writes, “Our mission is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry.”
In 2013, he wrote, “Received the Alpha Omega Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Scholarship award today!! I would like to thank my Vice Principal and Counselor for helping me get it!” With another post in 2013, he wrote, “Obama!”
On Twitter, he described himself as “I’m like awesome or whatever, just incase you didn’t know..and humble don’t forget humble.” He shared a tweet from Hillary Clinton about her being on the Jimmy Kimmel show in 2016.
5. Margery Magill Wrote That Returning to D.C. Was ‘My Latest Adventure’
On her LinkedIn page, Magill wrote that she had visited many countries. “I’m always up for a challenge and my latest adventure is returning to Washington, D.C. after two years abroad in Istanbul and London,” she wrote. She had previously interned in the city.
“I’m an experienced communicator and writer with a demonstrated work history in startup, nonprofit, and international organizations. Skilled in program management, workshop facilitation, social media marketing, event planning, and youth development. Strong passion to work in food security and women empowerment with a Master of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor of Science in International Agricultural Development.”
She wrote that she was currently “Program Coordinator – Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship” in Washington D.C., saying her duties were to “Manage and advise 90 graduate-level students during a two-year intensive professional development fellowship preparing students to enter the Foreign Service with the U.S. Department of State upon graduation.”
Magill had a bachelor of science degree in International Agricultural Development from University of California, Davis. She also had a master’s degree from the University of Westminster and interned at the Jane Goodall Institute.