CRIME

Viola Drath strangled, police say

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“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our mother and grandmother, Viola Drath. Her intelligence, independence and grace remained intact to the end. Our family is incredibly appreciative of the excellent work of the Metropolitan Police Department, in particular Detectives Gus Giannakoulis and James Wilson,” the Drath family said in a statement.

ABC7’s Kris Van Cleave ran into Muth on Wisconsin Avenue before the man was arrested. Muth wouldn't talk on camera, but said he believed police were not seriously considering him a suspect. There were no signs of forced entry into the home, leading him to believe it was a professional hit.

Muth previously said police told him he was a suspect.“Yes,” Muth e-mailed ABC7 on Tuesday. “And I am agreed. I am the first to look to, even though I do not benefit from her death in any form.”

In another email, one of more than a dozen exchanged with Van Cleave Tuesday, Muth writes: “to you direct, I am in no way linked to my wife's death.” The multiple emails from Muth to reporters even attracted the attention of other media outlets.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Muth Charging Document

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