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(Case 1 of 2 Currently Posted)
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Vanished October 25, 2013.
Six years have come and gone, and a Roanoke family says they still have no idea what happened to their missing son. Christopher Douthat vanished on October 25, 2013. He was 24. This case is being investigated by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Salem Field Office and the State Police is seeking information from the public to help find out what happened to Christopher.
Christopher's mother dropped him off for work at Vinton Roofing. He worked a job site in Botetourt County and was let off of work early. Later that day, back in Roanoke, he cashed a paycheck at the Vinton Kroger and made his way to Chapps Tavern, the last place he was seen alive.
Special Agent Douglas Hubert of the Virginia State Police became the lead agent for this investigation in January of 2018. He began at square one and his team of three full-time agents set to work interviewing more than 150 people.
Special Agent Hubert is asking the public to contact him at (540) 375-9528 if they know anything about what happened to Christopher Douthat.
(Case 2 of 2 Currently Posted)
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Joan Herndon was shot and killed in the Arvonia Produce Market on October 19, 1995.
Arvonia, Virginia in Buckingham County.
Investigators have set up a hotline. Call (434)-352-3443 to provide information.
Virginia State Police Seek New Information in 1995 Buckingham County Cold Case
Virginia State Police are hoping new information can crack a 24-year-old cold case. In 1995, Joan Herndon was fatally shot during an armed robbery at the store she owned in Buckingham County.
Friday, October 18th 2019, 6:41 PM EDT
Reported by CJ Paschall
BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia State Police are hoping new information can crack a 24-year-old cold case. In 1995, Joan Herndon was fatally shot during an armed robbery at the store she owned in Buckingham County.
Now, the special agents working the case are hoping someone in the community can help in this search for a killer. On the morning of October 19, 1995, 70-year-old Joan Herndon was working inside of the building, which used to be the Arvonia Produce Market, the store she owned with her husband, Norman. "Mid-morning hours, someone came in that robbed the store, took a significant amount of cash, and during the process - during the robbery, Mrs. Herndon was fatally shot and killed,” said Senior Special Agent Clay Overholt.
The murder shocked the Arvonia community, but the investigation quickly turned cold. "Probably for about a year and a half, it was a very active investigation. At a certain point, all leads get exhausted, there's no more information coming in,” said Overholt.
Now, 24 years after the murder, the state police is launching a new effort to solve cold cases.
“Somebody knows more information than we've been able to learn throughout the years so far, and so we're making that appeal to come forward,” said Special Agent Michael Heath.
The Herndon case is a priority.
"Over the past 24 years evidence has been resubmitted several times, based off of newer technology and newer algorithms for some of the tests,” said Overholt.
"Maybe we have something that we've touched on in our investigation that we could link better if we had that small tidbit of information that somebody else has,” said Heath.
Police are convinced that someone in the Arvonia community knows something and hope after all this time they're ready to come forward.
"I really think that this crime is going to be solved based on community efforts, and help from the community. That's why we're making this appeal on the 24th anniversary of this homicide,” said Heath.
Investigators have set up a hotline so people with more information can reach out to the state police. You can call (434)-352-3443. They say any small piece of information could be the piece that finally helps solve this murder case.