Daughter of Former US Diplomat Charged With Murder in Fatal Stabbing

February 17, 2020 Updated: February 17, 2020
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The woman charged with first-degree murder in connection with a fatal stabbing in Maryland on Feb. 13 has been identified as a daughter of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte.

Sophia Negroponte, 27, was arrested and charged in connection with the death of 24-year-old Yousuf Rasmussen, of Bethesda, at a home in Rockville, Montgomery County police said in a statement.

The suspect is one of five children adopted by former U.S. diplomat John Negroponte and his wife, according to The Washington Post.

Police officers and Fire and Rescue personnel responded to reports of a stabbing on Feb. 13 and found Rasmussen inside the home “suffering from what appeared to be a cutting wound,” the news release stated.

Rasmussen was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy, police said.

Detectives determined that the pair were acquaintances and had a “disagreement” while inside the residence, during which Rasmussen was injured, police said.

“Sometime during the night, they were involved in a disagreement with each other while inside the home,” a Montgomery County police spokesperson told WTOP.

Negroponte was arrested at the scene of the stabbing and charged with first-degree murder.

Diana Negroponte, Sophia’s mother, told the Post that their daughter has their “total support.”

“We love her deeply,” she said. “She was trying to live on her own and attend college.”

According to a 2007 Washington Post report, the former U.S. ambassador and his wife adopted five “orphaned or abandoned Honduran children” in Honduras.

Sophia Negroponte, who was 13 at the time, said, “I was the last to be adopted.”

Police department spokesman Rick Goodale said Negroponte is due in court on Feb. 18 for a bond review hearing. It isn’t yet clear whether she has an attorney.

John Negroponte was appointed as the nation’s first intelligence director by President George W. Bush in 2005. He later served as deputy secretary of state from 2007 to 2009. He also has been ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations, and Iraq. He was awarded the National Security Medal in 2009 by Bush for his outstanding contributions to U.S. national security.

He currently teaches at the University of Virginia as the James R. Schlesinger distinguished professor at its Miller Center.

Police said an investigation into the incident remains active and ongoing; anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Montgomery County Department of Police’s Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.