Washington mansion fire: Friends mourn slain family

Story highlights

  • Savopoulos family says they hope suspect's arrest restores some calm, security
  • Police say Savvas, Amy and Philip Savopoulos were killed inside their Washington home
  • Savvas Savopoulos, 46, was a business executive about to open a martial arts studio

Washington (CNN)They were a wealthy family who seemingly lived a charmed life, with a $4.5 million mansion in one of Washington's toniest neighborhoods, a second home in the U.S. Virgin Islands and a growing business in Puerto Rico.

Now, the red brick mansion is a charred crime scene.
Police say Savvas Savopoulos, his wife, Amy, and their 10-year-old son Philip were killed inside the home last week. A housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, was also slain. Then the house was set ablaze and the family's blue Porsche taken.
    As investigators try to determine why they were targeted, details are emerging about the Savopoulos family. Friends described them as an important part of the community and told The Washington Post the family had lived on the block in northwest Washington for more than a decade.
    The house where the Savopoulos family lived.
    Police say there was a business connection between Savvas Savopoulos and suspect Daron Dylon Wint, who was arrested in Washington late Thursday. Wint once worked for American Iron Works, where Savvas Savopoulos, 46, was president and CEO.
    In a statement issued Friday, the Savopoulos family expressed appreciation to law enforcement officers who helped track down Wint as well as firefighters who tried to save their home. Noting the "unimaginable loss" they and Figueroa's family suffered, the Savopouloses asked for privacy while acknowledging Thursday's arrest is a step forward.
    "While it does not abate our pain," the family said, "we hope that it begins to restore a sense of calm and security to our neighborhood and to our city."
    For the ambitious business executive, running that multimillion dollar building materials manufacturer company was just the tip of the iceberg.
    He was also a martial arts hobbyist, according to online posts, and was about to open a martial arts studio in Chantilly, Virginia.
    But his business and property ventures stretched far beyond the beltway.
    Savvas Savopoulos also founded a financial services firm called Sigma Investment Strategies. He was the company's CEO and regularly traveled to its headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
    A close business associate said Savopoulos was working on making Puerto Rico a permanent residence for himself and his family.
    The family also owned a second home in the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas and owned land in St. Croix, where a subsidiary of his business also operated, according to local news reports.
    In Washington, they were listed in the so-called Green Book, a who's who of Washington's social elite.
    Amy Savopoulos, 47, was a deeply involved mother who volunteered regularly at her children's schools and helped raise money for them, according to The Washington Post.
    The Savopouloses were also philanthropists, giving at least $100,000 to the National Cathedral School.
    Their 10-year-old son Philip attended St. Albans, a prestigious all-boys school. Two teenage daughters were away attending boarding school, The Washington Post reported.
    The family regularly attended services at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral and held gatherings at their home for friends, according to the Post.
    Family, friends and neighbors were shocked by the slayings.
    Neighbor Chris Vorobek told the Post he often saw Amy Savopoulos walking the family's dog in the neighborhood while her son raced around on his bicycle.
    "He was a great kid," Vorobek said.
    Coco Palomeque, another neighbor, told the Post they were a "beautiful family."
    "The community where they lived really loved them," she said.