STEVENSVILLE - Police investigating the death of a fifth-grade teacher stabbed repeatedly in a Kent Island home are searching the waters beneath the Bay Bridge for a man they suspect abandoned his car and jumped from the westbound span after the woman was killed.
Queen Anne's County sheriff's detectives said yesterday Diane Marie Weaver, 45, was found dead Wednesday night in an upstairs office of the home of her part-time employer, Jafar Komeylian, 50, a native Iranian who has lived in the United States 28 years.
Weaver was found about 8 p.m. Wednesday by Komeylian's wife, Carol, who had to go to a neighbor's house to call 911 because telephone lines in the two-story brick home she shares with her husband and their 17-year-old son apparently had been cut.
Detective J. D. Hofmann said investigators found signs of a struggle in the home office where Weaver worked as a business manager and secretary for Komeylian, who ran USA Lighthouses, a company that sells miniature lighthouses to retailers.
Investigators believe that Weaver, who this week began her second year as a fifth-grade teacher at Bayside Elementary on Kent Island, was killed between 3:45 p.m., when school was dismissed, and 5 p.m., when two motorists called on cellular telephones to report a man standing or walking on the Bay Bridge. Police said Komeylian's 1989 Honda was found in the westbound lane of the span about 5 p.m.
"We are hoping these two individuals come forward so we can talk to them," Hofmann said. "Both calls came in to the Anne Arundel County 911 center, but they were cut off when the operator tried to transfer them" to Maryland Transportation Authority Police at the bridge.
State Natural Resources Police, toll facilities police and sheriff's deputies continued searching beneath the 4.3-mile bridge late yesterday. Hofmann said detectives have obtained a search warrant, in the event that Komeylian is found alive. "There's the possibility he abandoned the car and got a ride or left the area," the detective said. "We're continuing to consider everything."
An autopsy was performed on Weaver's body at the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore but results were not known late yesterday, Hofmann said.
Weaver, one of nine children, grew up in Bowie. A 1977 graduate of Salisbury State University who also had a master's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, she taught school for 12 years in Talbot County.
Her mother, Martha Seppi of Bowie, said Weaver and her husband, Dan, were high school sweethearts who lived with their three children in the Bay City neighborhood near the Bay Bridge on Kent Island, about three miles from where she was killed.
"She was a very outgoing person; she had so many friends," said Seppi. "We are such a happy family. To have all that destroyed is hard to believe."
Family members said Weaver had worked full time for Komeylian about five years and reluctantly agreed to stay on part time after she returned to teaching last year.
"Last year, she tried to quit, but he did not want her to leave," Seppi said. "He told her he was lonely and felt inferior because he didn't speak English well. I just can't imagine anybody doing this."
Yesterday, a team of counselors and psychologists arrived at Bayside Elementary to offer help to pupils and faculty members who were told of Weaver's death.
"It is a terrible loss, not only to the school, but to the whole community," said Bernard Sadusky, Queen Anne's County superintendent of schools. "She had three children, she was very active in PTA, and a very effective, respected teacher."