On Feb. 8, 2003, the body of Johnson-Sosin was discovered in the back room of her In Style consignment shop on West Montgomery Avenue after the business was reported to have caught fire. Investigators determined she had been stabbed to death and the fire was set to cover up the killing.
Witnesses reported seeing a large African-American woman between 30 and 40, wearing a black puffy coat and black pill-box-style hat with earflaps enter and leave the store shortly before the fire began.
A suspect never has been named... Hamill has said that police could not write off the possibility that the person who entered the shop was a man dressed as a woman...
Police later determined one item was missing from the store, a unique mink coat that Johnson-Sosin had received as a gift from her husband, Cliff Sosin of North Potomac. Police had hoped the coat would lead them to the killer.
Sosin initially was cooperative with police, but later declined to speak with them after details of his personal life were revealed, including that he participated in online dating chat rooms while he was married. He retained an attorney, although police did not name him as a suspect.