It’s been 7 years since 28-year-old Kanika Powell was gunned down outside her Prince George’s County apartment by an unknown assailant.
Her death was the first of 2 mysterious murders involving government workers with security clearances in Prince George’s County in 2008.
In November 2008, Sean Nicholas Green, 31, was shot 9 times in the head by a gunman in broad daylight as he sat in his car at a red light. Witnesses say the brazen gunman fled the scene on foot.
Green was an IT specialist who worked with sensitive national security information at the National Counterterrorism Center in Northern Virginia.
Powell was a security specialist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, where scientists worked on more than 400 projects for homeland security.
Police do not believe the 2 murders are linked, but the similarities are striking.
Powell’s case is particularly troublesome because it appears she was stalked by 3 different men in the days leading up to her death.
On August 23, 2008 a strange man showed up at Powell’s door, saying he was with the FBI and asking for her by name.
Alarmed, Powell refused to open her door unless the man showed her a photo ID. The man left without showing her his ID.
Powell was so shaken by the encounter that she called 911 to report the stranger posing as a FBI agent.
Two days later, Powell sat down and composed an email to friends detailing the strange visit:
“I just wanted to share with you the scariest thing that happened to me this weekend. Saturday evening around 7pm a man was knocking at my door (as all of you may know I live alone). I asked who it was and he didn’t answer, so once I got close to the door and looked out of the peephole I saw a male figure that was not familiar to me at all. I asked who he was and all he stated was that he was from the FBI and that he was looking for Kanika Powell. It freaked me out completely because this man knew my name. He held a shield up but no picture ID and he never gave his name. He told me he was looking for me in regards to an investigation. I told him that I had no idea as to what he was talking about and that he would need to show me documentation as well as a warrant of some sort. So he left and I looked out my bedroom window and saw him walking. I also heard a voice tell him to walk in the opposite direction. The whole situation was scary and seemed so false. So because of this incident not only did I get NO sleep for the rest of the weekend but I am now trying to get an alarm system installed in my apartment. I had one in my old apartment, but I just hadn’t had it transferred over to my new one. As far as everything that happened with the guy. I did call the FBI and they told me that it was more than likely bogus because they never come to your door by themselves and they always leave a card of some sort so that you can contact them. I called the local police as well to give them a description just in case someone is out there trying to rape or harm single woman…pass this on ladies.. This is not a fake Forward this happened to ME Kanika…Who knows who these guys are and what they are doing and in what areas other than mine.”
Many question why Powell signed the non-work related email “Kanika T. Powell, Special Security, 13-S448 JHU/APL.”
Four days after the first incident, another man showed up at Powell’s front door — this time posing as a deliveryman.
Again, Powell refused to open the door.
The next day, Thursday, a third man knocked on Powell’s door claiming to have a package for her. Powell again refused to open her door and the man left without leaving the package.
Powell called 911 again, and again police came out and searched the apartment complex but did not find the man.
A few hours later, Powell left her apartment to run errands.
When she returned home, a man stepped out of the shadows in the hallway outside her apartment. Powell tried to flee but the man opened fire, riddling her body with bullets.
Neighbors called 911 to report the sounds of gunshots and a woman screaming.
Powell was pronounced dead at a hospital on August 29, 2008.