Clues imply body was moved

Police believe the Manassas mother who was found murdered Thursday was killed in the hallway of her condominium at 9613 Tarra Lane, then moved to the back bedroom.

It was there that 22-year-old Shawn Katrina Mason was discovered lying on the floor, a single gunshot wound to the head, according to search warrant affidavits filed in Prince William County Circuit Court on Monday.

Vehicles Mason’s estranged boyfriend was known to drive are part of the focus of the city police investigation into her death, the warrants also revealed.

The boyfriend, who police will not name, has not been counted in, or ruled out, as a suspect at this point in the investigation, said Sgt. Bill Goodman, city police spokesman, on Monday.

Mason’s 4-year-old son, who was not in the home when she was killed, was with his father, police said. They refused to say, however, whether the boyfriend and the child’s father are the same person.

Mason’s body was discovered by police when the estranged boyfriend broke into her home to check on her welfare, according to police and court records.

The man told police that Mason had not returned his calls, and failed to answer knocks on her door.

Police found the body when they arrived to investigate complaints a neighbor made reporting the sound of breaking glass at Mason’s apartment.

Police obtained warrants to search a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria with New York license plates, a 2000 Mercedes sports-utility vehicle with Virginia license plates and a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse coup with Virginia license plates.

Police were searching the cars for “blood, blood stains, hair, fibers, latent evidence, bodily fluids, clothing, dated material, as well as other items,” the affidavit states.

On an initial sweep in the condo, investigators discovered evidence that suggests the body had been moved, according to statements made by Detective Louis DeRamus III in the affidavits.

Mason had been dead for a period of time, although not a “lengthy” period of time, the affidavit states.

Police are awaiting autopsy results from the Northern Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office to determine time of death among other things.

During a search, police seized bone, blood samples, white powder, a shell casing, three carpet samples, two doors, drywall, a phone bill, a computer, purse, Mason’s clothing and personal items, keys and a telephone.

Staff writer Daniel Drew can be reached at (703) 878-8065.

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