The medical examiner's office said Saturday the death was a homicide; the cause of death was strangulation, Nancy Bull, district administrator, said Tuesday morning.
Asabech Abayneh, who also went by the last name Worku, was 43 years old. She lived in the 5600 block of Derby Court in Alexandria, near Winkler Botanical Preserve.
She worked at the Birhan Cafe & Market, 3823 S. George Mason Dr., according to WTOP; the restaurant is near the Target store on Leesburg Pike and about a mile and a half from her apartment.
The owner of the cafe, Birhan Awol, called Abayneh's cell phone Friday morning to find out where she was; her sister answered the phone and then discovered Abayneh, who was unresponsive, WTOP reported.
Police were called at 11:32 a.m., according to a news release from Alexandria Police. Abayneh was deceased in her residence, police said.
The Alexandria Police Department asks that anyone with information regarding Abayneh or her movements in the past several weeks contact Detective Loren King at (703) 746-6689.
This is the third homicide in Alexandria in 2014.
The other homicide victims were Julio Caesar Urrutia-Erazo, 27, of Alexandria, who succumbed to his injuries and died on June 21, after being shot in the 3800 block of Russell Road.
The first homicide this year was Ruthanne Lodato who was shot at her home on Ridge Road Drive.