News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Motorcycle Fatality and an Unsolved International Kidnapping: Today's Update is Just a Big Pile of Sad

Fairfax County Police said that a man who lost control of his motorcycle on Fairfax County Parkway on July 8 died from his injuries late last week.

On Thursday, July 8 around 9:50 p.m., a 48-year-old man driving a 2007 Suzuki sport bike was northbound on Fairfax County Parkway near Baron Cameron Avenue. As he approached a left curve prior to Walnut Branch Road, he braked, skidded and lost control of the motorcycle, which came to rest in a culvert approximately 30 feet from the roadway. The driver was separated from his motorcycle and landed adjacent to a paved pedestrian path. The driver was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

On Thursday, July 22, Robert Berlin, of 1325 Shallow Ford Road in Herndon, succumbed to his injuries. Police were notified of the death on July 27.

Alcohol and speed are considered possible factors in the crash.
Meanwhile, a kidnapping warrant against a Reston mother who left the country with her two children in 2004 is still in force, FBI officials said this week.
More than 5 1/2 years after two Reston brothers went missing, and nearly four years after a kidnapping warrant was issued for their mother, authorities are still trying to track down all three.

Authorities say the father of Alec and Dominic Gardner last saw his sons Dec. 6, 2004. That's when authorities say their mother, Stefanie Zachariadis Gardner, left Reston with the boys, then ages 3 and 1. A warrant for her arrest on international parental kidnapping charges was issued in U.S. District Court in Alexandria in August 2006.

Zachariadis Gardner and her sons are believed to be in Germany.
A notice that she is wanted in Virginia is listed on Interpol's Web site. An FBI spokeswoman said this week that the kidnapping warrant is still active.


The boys' father filed an application to have the children returned to the United States under the Hague Convention, the treaty that establishes a civil process for returning children wrongfully removed from their country of residence. But German courts denied the application, Findlay said.

Alec Gardner is now 8 years old, and Dominic Gardner is now 7 years old. Stefanie Zachariadis Gardner, now age 35, is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and 120 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about the case can call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.

Pretty heavy for a Wednesday afternoon. Fortunately, the Connection is here to help with a heartwarming photo essay of a bunch of puppies cavorting at Reston's Fake Downtown. You're welcome.


  1. Anyone who rides a motorcycle is a Darwin Award waiting to happen.

  2. Remember that guy the Post wrote about trying to get his son back from Brazil after the mother took him there and then died? Because it was in the Post it became a cause celebre and he eventually prevailed (I think).

    Perhaps the Gardner children's dad needs to interest the Post in the case...hey maybe he can put their photo on the bus the German embassy is sponsoring around town.


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