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Man asked couple for directions before fatal stabbing

Posted at 6:07 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 07:13:01-04

NASHVILLE, TN — Police are searching for a Connecticut man in connection with an attack on a husband and wife over the weekend that left one dead and the other seriously injured.

Leigh Ann Zirkle, 58, and her husband Donald Zirkle, 59, were sitting on their back porch in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday afternoon when a stranger allegedly approached them to ask for directions, police said.

Investigators aren’t sure what happened next, but the sudden encounter turned deadly when the stranger, described as “a white man in his 20s to 30s with long blonde hair and a dirty yellow shirt,” began to attack the couple, police said in a statement.

Leigh Ann Zirkle fled the scene and collapsed in the street after sustaining “significant” stab wounds, including one to her neck, police said. Her husband, Donald Zirkle, was found inside the home and transported to a local hospital where he later died, police said.

“Neighbors rendered aid as officers and Nashville Fire Department paramedics responded,” the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a statement. “When officers arrived, they cleared the residence and found Donald Zirkle, 59, critically wounded at the rear. He was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died.”

The suspect is thought to have fled in the couple’s 2010 gray Toyota Camry.

Thirty-four-year-old Peter Bohning, of Kent, Connecticut, was not named as a suspect, but police said they were looking question him in connection with the attack.

Authorities found his vehicle, a silver Subaru sedan with Connecticut license plates, “inexplicably parked” at the side of the home with its rear doors open.

Investigators reached out to his family in Connecticut, but they said they hadn’t spoken with him in days.

“His family in Connecticut told authorities there that they have not heard from him in several days. Bohning’s whereabouts are unknown. He may be in the victims’ Camry,” police said. “Anyone seeing Bohning and/or the Camry is urged to immediately contact the MNPD at 615-862-8600 or their local law enforcement agency.”