Police lights

A man Henry County Sheriff’s deputies police had been looking for on charges that he assaulted a woman was found dead in a residence in Henry County on Saturday afternoon.

Deputies found Michael T. Purdue, 43, of 966 Dyers Store Road dead at that address when they entered the house after he failed to respond to their continued efforts to contact him, a sheriff’s office release said.

The situation unfolded after the Martinsville/ Henry County 9-1-1 Center received a call at 9:58 a.m. from 3288 Green Hill Dr. in Martinsville.

The resident, Ashley Lynn Justus, 28, told deputies that Purdue, who was her mother’s boyfriend, had become irate and began to assault Justus, the release said.

Justus said Purdue pulled out a firearm, struck her in the head with it and began to choke her, the release said. She said Purdue threatened to commit suicide and fled the home in his vehicle.

He returned but didn’t enter the home, she said, and at 10:15 a.m. deputies found Purdue’s vehicle at his residence.

They made continuous attempts to contact Purdue, the release said, but he refused to exit the home.

Investigators from the HCSO obtained arrest warrants on Purdue for abduction (felony), strangulation (felony), use of firearm during a felony (felony) and assault and battery (misdemeanor).

After obtaining a search warrant to enter Perdue’s residence, at 3 p.m. a tactical unit from the Sheriff’s Office made entry and found Purdue deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the release said.

His remains will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Western District of Virginia for an autopsy to determine cause and manner of his death.

Anyone having information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 276- 638-8751 or the Crimestoppers Program at 63-CRIME (632-7463).

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.