The woman in the bus depot, the perpetrator, was amiable and chatty, Eleanor Williams tearfully told the police.
This was long ago, after Williams, young and naive, had been tragically preyed upon, investigators said. Today, it’s a cold case.
The woman, whose crime in the terminal that day shattered Williams’ psyche, was African-American and appeared to be in her 20s, Williams recalled, speaking for the first time in decades about a mystery that has perplexed District of Columbia police. Williams said the stranger’s perfidy left her so mired in guilt and shame that she later contemplated killing herself.
The woman, about 5-foot-3 and slender, struck up a conversation with Williams in the passenger waiting area, cooing over Williams’ infant daughter. After a while, in the sweetest voice, she asked whether she could hold the child.
Please? Just for a minute?
She said her name was Latoya.
Which might have been a lie. Who knows?
She said she was headed “out west” – maybe also a lie.