Student dies in murder-suicide

The University tragically lost a member of its community Jan. 4 when fourth-year College student Monica Long was killed in what police are now calling a murder-suicide case.

According to Albemarle County police, Long's husband, 42-year-old Arnold R. Valenzuela, shot Long in the Trophy Chase apartment they once shared. Valenzuela is suspected to have committed suicide after shooting Long, said Lt. Earl Newton of the Albemarle County police.

Police declared Valenzuela dead upon reaching the scene around 11:30 a.m. Long died of her injuries later that night at the University Medical Center.

Authorities were first notified of the incident by Long's parents, who discovered the scene, said Albemarle County Police Lt. John Parrent in a press release.

Long recently had moved out of the apartment because of domestic problems with Valenzuela, but had returned to retrieve some belongings, Parrent said. Her parents waited outside in their vehicle while she entered her home, eventually following her when she did not return.

Parrent said the parents called 911 after entering the apartment.

"It's one of those unfortunate incidents that looks like the second of its kind that week involving a broken relationship," Newton said.

The earlier occurrence, also suspected to be a murder-suicide, occurred Dec. 28 at an apartment complex adjacent to Trophy Chase. The female victim in this incident survived her injuries.

Ronald Long, the father of Monica Long, said a funeral was held for his daughter last Friday in Manassas, Va. Those in attendance included many members of Long's sorority, who served as pallbearers, as well as Dean of Students Penny Rue, he said.

Ronald Long added that Monica, an aspiring lawyer, felt fully dedicated to the University.

"My daughter loved the University of Virginia," he said, and, in return, "everybody just loved her back."

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