ONLY IF HE WOULD HAVE CARRIED IT SUNDAY MORNING! Pair Were Attacked on Morning Stroll Identities of Slain Loudoun Husband, Injured Wife Revealed By Jonathan Mummolo Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, March 24, 2009; Page B01 A Loudoun County couple out for their routine early-morning walk over the weekend might have been randomly attacked by as many as three assailants in the Lansdowne area, the county sheriff said yesterday. William Bennett, 57, was found dead before 6 a.m. Sunday along Riverside Parkway near Rocky Creek Drive by a sheriff's deputy investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area. His wife, Cynthia, 55, was found critically injured about 30 minutes later across the road, beyond a bloodied white fence in a muddy ditch, Simpson said. "It has the look and feel of a random act," Simpson said. "I'm not sure how much you do to prepare for that. . . . Everybody has the same thought on their mind: 'See, that could have been me.' " The Bennetts live in the Potomac Station subdivision in the Leesburg area, less than a mile from where they were found, Simpson said. They suffered severe blunt force trauma, but the medical examiner has not yet provided an official cause of death for the husband, Simpson said. At 5:38 a.m. Sunday, a resident reported hearing a commotion and seeing several people get inside a white panel van that kept coming and going, authorities said. A deputy responded within five minutes and discovered the man's body on a grassy patch along Riverside Parkway, near a walking path that leads to Goose Creek, Simpson said. Authorities combed the area, and, as the sun came up, investigators noticed blood across the street on a white fence that lines the road, Simpson said. It was then that Cynthia Bennett was discovered about 50 yards away in a ditch. She was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital and was in critical condition yesterday. Investigators have not been able to talk to her, Simpson said. The couple were wearing jogging outfits when they were found. The attack has left residents of the quiet community shaken. Some said they would avoid the walking path near the creek and keep their children indoors. "It's shocking and scary, and I guess you can't ever assume you're safe no matter where you live," said Sandy Bednoski, 38, of Lansdowne. Authorities were able to identify William Bennett, who carried no identification, by his fingerprint, which was on file because he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, Simpson said. The couple have two adult children, he said. Bennett's slaying is the first homicide this year in Loudoun, where killings usually register in the low single digits annually. The sheriff's office investigated three homicides last year, up from one in 2007. Authorities described the Lansdowne area as fairly quiet and said crime there is generally limited to "quality of life" issues such as property destruction and car theft. County Supervisor Lori L. Waters (R-Broad Run) expressed shock and sadness over the attack and said she hoped for a quick recovery for Cynthia Bennett. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to the families of the victims," Waters said in a statement. "This type of violence will not be tolerated in our community, and we know the sheriff's office will be doing all in their power to bring the murderer to justice."