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McClard faces first-degree murder charge
Strangulation ruled preliminary cause of death
Arthur Gene McClard, 37, was arrested Wednesday by the Roanoke Police Department on an outstanding warrant of vehicle larceny. He now faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Joyce Daily Mitchell, 74, of 270 King Air Ave., Ridgeway.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
A man charged with first-degree murder in connection with the strangulation of an elderly Ridgeway woman is being held with no bond in Henry County Jail, Sheriff Lane Perry said Wednesday night.
Arthur Gene McClard, 37, was arrested around 11 a.m. Wednesday by the Roanoke Police Department on an outstanding warrant of vehicle larceny and for questioning in connection with the death of Joyce Daily Mitchell, 74, of 270 King Air Ave. in Ridgeway.
Henry County investigators interviewed McClard in Roanoke, Perry said Wednesday afternoon, and the murder charge and a robbery charge were filed later that day.
Perry said the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke listed strangulation as the preliminary cause of death.
Although Perry declined to speculate on a motive, authorities said Mitchell’s purse and an unspecified amount of cash were taken from her home, as was her 1998 maroon 4-door Chrysler Concorde, authorities have said. It was later recovered near mile marker 124 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The vehicle had been abandoned. Perry speculated that was an attempt to conceal the car.
Mitchell’s body was found Monday inside her mobile home by officers responding to calls for a well being check, authorities have said.
Perry said Mitchell and McClard knew each other, and McClard “lived in the area” of Mitchell’s community.
He thanked those who have helped the sheriff’s office with the case.
“The Roanoke Police Department has been involved in this case from the start, and we appreciate their help,” Perry said. “This is a tragic incident, and we are sorry for the family and friends affected” by Mitchell’s death, he added.
“We also want to express our appreciation to all the people who looked out for Mrs. Mitchell,” the sheriff said. “We have had nothing but help and cooperation from her family and friends.”
Perry said he expects McClard will be arraigned in a Henry County courtroom this morning.
This incident remains under investigation and authorities continue seeking any information. Anyone who may have information is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 276-638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63- CRIME (632-7463).
Rewards up to $1,000 are available through the Crimestoppers Program for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information provided determine the amount of the reward paid.