Thursday May 10, 2018
The community mourns the tragic death of South Burlington resident “Anette” Anako Lumumba, 33, whose life was taken in what is reported as an act of domestic violence on May 3. In a social media post attributed to Lumumba’s sister, Anette is remembered as a nurse who was dedicated to “taking care of families and their loved ones in times of hardship.” She was a daughter, a sister, and the mother of young children.
The South Burlington Police Department (SBPD) was first alerted to the homicide just before 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, when they received a call from the Falmouth, Massachusetts Police Department, advising them that a possible shooting had taken place in South Burlington. An individual reported to them that a family member, 36 year old Leroy A. Headley, called him and stated he had shot his girlfriend. As police were responding to the scene, a 911 call came in from a man saying he had shot his girlfriend at 10 Southview Drive. The call was made from a phone number that police associate with Headley.
South Burlington police officers responded to the Southview Drive duplex, and discovered Lumumba, who had died from a gunshot wound. As the investigation progressed, Headley, who police say is known to have lived at the Southview Drive home with Lumumba, was identified as the suspect in the case.
An arrest warrant for second degree murder was issued for Headley by the Vermont Superior Court—Chittenden Criminal Division on Friday, May 4. Headley is also facing charges for sexual assault involving two young teens in 2016.
South Burlington Chief of Police Trevor Whipple confirmed on Monday afternoon, May 7, that an active investigation continues, with numerous law enforcement agencies collaborating in a broad search for Headley. Headley has a large family base in the Cape Cod, Massachusetts area, and the search has been expanded to include the southern New England area.
Headley has not been seen since mid-afternoon on Thursday, May 3, when photos from a South Burlington bank show him making a transaction at a drive through ATM in a bright blue 2017 Nissan Pathfinder with license plate HBR 281. Police report Headley withdrew $5,000; they believe the bank transaction took place prior to the homicide.
Whipple described the incident as a targeted, specific crime of passion; he doesn’t believe the general public is in danger, since it was not a random crime. While acknowledging that Headley is assumed to be armed and dangerous, he urges residents, “to continue with normal activities, but to add an extra layer of caution, observing for any suspicious behavior.”
On Friday, and again Monday, the South Burlington School District made a cautionary decision to keep students inside during the school day. A message to families stated, “Due to the ongoing nature of this criminal situation, organized outside activities at all five SB schools are on hold until further notice. There will be no outside recess, physical education classes, or any other organized outside activities until this status is changed.” Outside activities were resumed at the schools Tuesday, May 8.
Whipple reminds residents to contact the SBPD tipline at 802-598-3528 if they have any information regarding the whereabouts of Headley, and to call 911 immediately if Headley, or the vehicle, is seen.