On May 2, 2013, at about 8:15 am, patrol officers were called to the 9600 block of Muirkirk Road for a welfare check. Upon arrival, patrol officers found a man and woman suffering from trauma to the upper body. They were both pronounced dead on the scene. The victims were identified as 42-year-old James Vell Ferguson and 45-year-old Tina Lynn Towler, both of the 9600 block of Muirkirk Road.
Patrol officers also found Towler’s 25-year-old disabled daughter in the home. She was not hurt. A nurse, assigned to monitor the daughter, found the victims during a routine visit. The daughter is currently being cared for by the State of Maryland.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives developed Yerby as the suspect. Yerby and Towler had a romantic relationship. DNA evidence puts Yerby at the scene of the murders. He was arrested on September 12, 2013, in the 2900 block of Vista Street in Northeast Washington. The motive for the murders remains under investigation.
Yerby is charged with first and second degree murder. He remains in custody with the Metropolitan Police Department, awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County.