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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Officials collected items in searches

Sunday, September 9, 2012

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Several items with red stains were collected during searches of the home and car belonging to a woman found slain in Ridgeway last week, according to court records.

Joyce Daily Mitchell, 74, of Ridgeway, was found dead in her home on Monday. Arthur Gene McClard, 37, was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder, robbery and vehicle larceny in connection with her death.

He is being held with no bond in the Henry County Jail.

According to an affidavit filed with a search warrant in Henry County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, authorities interviewed a man who allegedly admitted strangling Mitchell before striking her in the head with a 15-pound dumbbell.

The man then told an investigator that allegedly “he took her (Mitchell’s) keys and pocketbook and left the area” in Mitchell’s car, the affidavit stated.

Mitchell was found strangled on Monday, and her 1998 burgundy Chrysler Concorde was missing. The vehicle was recovered on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and authorities searched both Mitchell’s home and her vehicle.

Items collected from the vehicle included swabs from the steering wheel, driver’s side door handle and gear shift, according to court documents. Authorities also collected a glass mug, pocketbook with a red stain and a bank envelope from the car.

From searching Mitchell’s home and areas, authorities recovered a Pall Mall cigarette butt, newspapers, Mitchell’s debit card, a plastic wrapper, checkbook, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can, calendar with red stains, yellow earring and two dumbbells, court documents showed.

Swabs of red stains from the carpet, foot stool, night stands, door, door knobs, trash can and back door also were collected, records showed.

Other possible evidence from the home included tan slacks with red stains, playing cards, a shoe, document, box of playing cards, remote with batteries, an Altoids (breath mints) container, glasses and an inhaler, court documents showed.

A tissue, bedspread with red stains, pink and white bed sheets, two pillow cases, a fitted pillow-top sheet and a light-colored shirt with red stains, pocketbook with red stain and a box of checks also were collected, court documents showed.

Authorities asked for anyone with any information about the incident to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 638-8751, or CrimeStoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).

Rewards of up to $1,000 are available through the CrimeStoppers program for information related to unsolved crimes. The amount of any reward is determined by the nature of the crime and the substance of information provided.


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