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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Victim ID is sought in car fire

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Franklin County authorities have confirmed that human remains were discovered in a burned vehicle that was found along Philpott Road near the Henry-Franklin county line.

Officers hope to learn the identity of the victim today, based on DNA evidence, according to Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is assisting its counterpart in Franklin County on the case, Perry said.

“We’ve been helping with anything from our jurisdiction that we can. We’ve offered assistance” to Franklin County and have worked with their investigators on the case, Perry added.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Lt. Philip Young said the vehicle — a description of which was not released — was found around 3:18 p.m. Sunday by someone who was looking at land that was for sale.

The vehicle was in “a rural area. It was not somewhere that everyday traffic would have noticed it,” Young said.

Authorities believe the vehicle had been parked on Philpott Road within the past two weeks, he added.

“We have determined they are human remains” in the vehicle, Young said.

According to Perry, it appears there was just one person in the vehicle.

Young said no recent reports of missing persons were made to authorities in Franklin County.

Perry said the Franklin County incident does not appear to be related to a similar case that occurred in Henry County on May 23, 2011.

Two people were charged in that case after the remains of Amanda Massey, 31, and Robby Lawrence, 33, both of Stuart, were found inside a burned Daewoo hatchback on Willie Craig Road in Bassett.

Darius Taylor Younger, 21, is being held without bond on three counts of capital murder, three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of murder, one count of robbery, one count of use of a firearm in the commission of robbery and one count of maliciously shoot into an occupied vehicle in the case.

The capital charges against Younger are capital murder of Lawrence in the commission of a robbery or attempted robbery; capital murder of Massey in the commission of a robbery or attempted robbery; and capital murder of Lawrence and Massey in the same act or transaction.

Conviction of a capital murder charge is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.

Kayla Mae Bowman, 20, also was indicted in the case on one count of carjacking and one count of concealing or compounding evidence of a felony.

According to court records, both cases have been continued. Younger’s case may be set for trial in November, and Bowman’s trial may be set in January, court records show.

Anyone with information about the Franklin County case is asked to call Lt. Todd Maxey at (540) 483-6601.


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