The murder of Jayna Murray, also known as the Lululemon Murder, occurred on March 11, 2011 at a Lululemon store in Bethesda, Maryland. After a long investigation and a search for suspects, it was determined that Jayna was murdered by her fellow coworker Brittany Norwood, who later staged the crime scene.
Jayna Murray was a 30 year old woman who was born in Kansas and grew up in Texas. She was said to be extremely kind and liked by those around her. Jayna was also incredibly adventurous and traveled all around the world throughout her life. At the time of her murder, she was in school working toward getting her degree.
Brittany Norwood was 28 years old at the time of the incident. She was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and was said to be very intelligent and athletic. However, she had some issues growing up that involved theft. It was stated by her previous soccer teammates that she was caught stealing their items from the locker room several times, and before working at Lululemon, she was fired from her old job after being caught stealing.
Some time before the incident took place, the managers of the Lululemon store began to suspect Brittany of stealing. They set up a meeting with other employees, including Jayna Murray, to tell them that if they caught Brittany or anyone stealing to report it as soon as possible.
On March 12, 2011, the manager of the Lululemon store Rachel came to unlock and open up the store at about 8A.M. However, upon going to open the door, she discovered that it was already unlocked. As Rachel went into the store, she saw that it was completely trashed with items thrown all over the store.
Rachel then went back outside to call for help. Next door to the Lululemon store was an Apple store with a long line of customers outside waiting to purchase a new item that was going to be released that day. That’s when a man waiting outside the store named Ryan noticed how panicked Rachel was and went over to offer help.
Ryan told Rachel that he had been waiting outside the Apple store for about an hour and hadn’t seen anyone come in or out of Lululemon at all. The two then went inside of Lululemon to investigate the scene. As they were walking through the store, they noticed a trail of blood and bloody footprints leading toward the back.
When Ryan approached the back closet of the store, he discovered the dead body of a woman lying in a pool of blood. As Ryan continued looking through the back of the store to see if he could find anyone else, he found another woman in the bathroom lying face-up with her arms and legs zip tied. This woman was also covered in blood, but she was still breathing, so an ambulance was called to the scene.
Rachel was able to determine that the two women found were Jayna Murray and Brittany Norwood, who were the only employees working in the store the night before. Jayna Murray was pronounced dead on the scene, while Brittany Norwood was taken to the hospital to get her injuries treated. Brittany was capable of explaining what happened to the two the women.
According to Brittany, she and Jayna had just finished closing up. After closing, Jayna began to head home in her car while Brittany headed to the nearby subway station. Brittany then stated that once she arrived at the station she realized she left her ticket at the store, so she began to go back and called Jayna so that she could come back and unlock the store for her. When Jayna got back and unlocked the door, they both began looking for the ticket around the store. When they were unable to find it, Jayna offered to let Brittany use her subway card, which she accepted.
When the two were about to leave the store, Brittany says that they were both attacked by two men dressed in all black. She said that the men dragged them into separate rooms and began to sexually assault and beat them. She said she wasn’t sure what the other attacker was doing to Jayna, but she could hear so much screaming and banging coming from the other room.
Brittany then said that after her attacker finished his assault, he dragged her into the room where Jayna’s body was and threw her on top of Jayna. She then said that the attackers said they only kept her alive because she was, “more fun to f*ck.” Brittany later had a rape kit done on her and the authorities began their investigation of who attacked the women.
Jayna Murray’s autopsy revealed horrific details of how she was murdered. There were multiple weapons used on Jayna, many of which were items found around the store, like a rock and tools from the store’s toolbox. She was beaten and stabbed to the point where she was unrecognizable. Pathologists concluded that her attack lasted about 17 minutes and she was possibly alive up until her very last injury. Jayna had approximately 331 injuries, over 200 of which were on her face.
Most of Brittnay’s wounds were superficial and only 2 of them required stitches, which investigators found quite odd. The investigators then went over to the Apple store to see if any of the employees had seen or heard anything the night of the attack. The employees and security working at the store stated that on the night of the supposed attack, they heard a lot of yelling and commotion coming from the Lululemon store. They said that it sounded like two women arguing and a lot of banging, but nothing was reported.
After searching for the suspects with no lead, investigators began to realize that certain parts of Brittnay’s story was not adding up. After finding Jayna’s abandoned car, a hat with a blood stain was found inside of it. The investigators began to think that Brittany may have been working with the attackers as she was the only person with an injury on her head who could have had access to Jayna’s car. It was also determined that the same zip ties used to tie up Brittany were the same ones that were kept in the store. As previously stated, many of the items used in the attack were items found around the store, so did the attackers just come to the store hoping that they would have the weapons and zip ties for them already?
Finally, one of Brittany’s 2 injuries was in the middle of her forehead. It was determined this injury came as Brittany was swinging something up and down, and she pulled it up too high, hitting herself in the face. The results for Brittany’s rape kit also came in, and it was determined that she had not been assaulted. That’s when the main detective theorized that Brittany was the one who attacked and murdered Jayna.
Brittany was later brought back for more questioning. As Brittany went on trying to come up with a new story, the investigator confronted her with the different evidence they had against her. Brittany’s only response to this was asking if she could go home. The detectives did not let her go and instead they brought her brother and sister in to talk to her alone. Finally, after her brother pleaded and asked her for the truth, Brittany stated, “I don’t want to talk about it here.” That statement led investigators to believe that Brittany was indeed the one who attacked Jayna and she was arrested on March 18, 2011.
The police then began to put the events of the incident in order. They believed that Brittany had somehow found out that Jayna caught her stealing and was going to report it to the other managers. After they closed and left the store on March 11, Brittany lured Jayna back to the store with the story that she left her subway ticket. Once there, Jayna and Brittany got into an argument and Brittany attacked Jayna. This was the yelling and commotion that the Apple store employees were hearing next door. Brittany stabbed and beat Jayna with several items around the store for nearly 20 minutes until she was finally dead. Brittany then began to cause self-inflicted wounds and tied herself up with the store’s zip ties to make it appear as if she were attacked as well. She then waited for hours for someone to come in and discover her and Jayna.
After a long trial, Brittany was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in January 2012. It was also determined that she was mentally disturbed and was a danger to society.
The murder of Jayna Murray was incredibly horrific. No one would expect that such an incident would occur between employees at a clothing store. Jayna is remembered as the kind, bright, and vibrant woman she was. The Lululemon store that Jayna was murdered in now has a stained-glass mural designed in honor of Janya.