A body pulled from the Chesapeake Bay yesterday appears to be that of the man suspected of fatally stabbing a Kent Island elementary school teacher Wednesday and then leaping from the Bay Bridge a short time later, authorities said.
The dark clothing on the body matched the outfit worn by Jafar Komeylian, 50, when a motorist saw him with one leg over the bridge railing near where he had abandoned his car, police said.
In a pocket of the man's pants, police found a folding knife they say may have been used to kill fifth-grade teacher Diane Marie Weaver, 45, of Stevensville, who had managed Komeylian's business selling miniature lighthouses for five years.
"Tentatively he has been identified," said Queen Anne's County sheriff's Detective J. D. Hofmann. He said an autopsy would be performed today in Baltimore. The knife will be analyzed to see whether it is the weapon used in the killing, he said.
News of the discovery brought relief to the small Kent Island community where Weaver lived with her husband, Dan, and three children, ages 10, 12 and 15.
"Everyone says, 'Praise the Lord,'" said Weaver's mother, Martha Seppi of Bowie. "Kids were saying they're afraid to go in their rooms at night because, 'What if he's there?'"
Passengers on a sailboat spotted the body at 10:30 a.m., east of Gibson Island near the mouth of the Magothy River, said Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chuck Porcari.
Hofmann did not offer information about a possible motive in the slaying. "We're still investigating that," he said.
Seppi said Komeylian, a native of Iran who was married and had a son, frequently told Weaver he missed his extended family back home. Initially, Weaver helped Komeylian, 50, paint the lighthouses he carved, Seppi said. She progressed to managing many aspects of the business, such as dealing with suppliers and marketing the finished products.
About a year ago she attempted to quit, Seppi said, so she could focus on teaching fifth grade at Bayside Elementary School on Kent Island and on raising her three children, two girls and a boy. Komeylian persuaded her to continue working part time, her mother said.
Weaver's body was found in an upstairs office in Komeylian's home about 8 p.m. Wednesday. Police said she had been stabbed at least 16 times and had sustained hand and arm wounds, apparently while trying to defend herself.
She was killed between 3:45 p.m., when school was dismissed, and 5 p.m., police said.
Seppi said that when her daughter is buried tomorrow, Komeylian will be in her prayers: "God has mercy on everyone, no matter how horrible, right?"
Her daughter died because she wanted to ease his difficulties, Seppi said. "She was a kind person; she could hardly say no. Here she thought she could help him, and this is the end result. Terrible."