RESTON, VA – A live-in au pair from Reston, Virginia, is facing murder charges following a prolonged seven-month investigation into a tragic incident at her employer’s residence, which left two people dead from gunshot and stab wounds.
Authorities identified the suspect as 23-year-old Juliana Peres Magalhaes, now charged with second-degree murder for the killing of 39-year-old Joseph Ryan. Currently, she is being held in custody without the possibility of bond. On the morning of February 25th, police were alerted by a distressing 911 call, which led them to a house on Stable Brook Way.
The caller, identified as a distressed female, claimed her friend was injured. Intriguingly, during the course of this call, another individual intervened, revealing he had shot an intruder who had allegedly stabbed a woman in the house. Upon police arrival, two victims were discovered: Christine Banfield, 37, of Herndon, with fatal stab injuries, and Joseph Ryan, who had been shot, both located in the upper areas of the home.
Ryan’s death was confirmed on-site, while Banfield succumbed to her injuries after being transported to a local hospital. Through the course of their investigation, detectives established that Magalhaes was the initial caller, and that the second voice was Brendan Robert Banfield, Christine’s husband.
Forensic analysis and subsequent interviews provided the police enough evidence to charge Magalhaes with the shooting of Ryan. However, the sequence of events leading to Banfield’s tragic stabbing remains clouded in mystery. Authorities have yet to confirm if Ryan was Banfield’s assailant. Interestingly, there were no indications of an unlawful entry into the property, leading to more questions than answers.