News release: Virginia State Police Trooper Z.C. Harris is investigating a fatal crash in Nelson County. The crash occurred July 4, 2019 at 5:01 p.m. on Route 151, south of East Branch Loop. A 2005 Toyota Scion was traveling north along Route 151 when it crossed the center-line and and began to spin around. The Scion struck head-on a southbound 2015 Lincoln Navigator. The driver of the Scion, Sarah E. Brungard, 24, of Lynchburg, Va., died at the scene. She was wearing a seat belt.
From the Henry County Sheriff’s Office: At approximately 1:41pm on July 6, 2019 the Martinsville-Henry County Emergency 911 Center received a call of a gunshot victim at a business located at 7640 Axton Rd. in Axton, VA.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene. Prior to their arrival, the victim, Craig Keen of Axton, VA, was transported via personal vehicle to the UNC-Rockingham Health Care Emergency Room. Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that an unknown subject entered into the Image Improvement Barbershop during the course of business hours and held Keen at gunpoint and robbed Keen of U.S. Currency. During this incident, Keen suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound. The suspect then fled the scene in a newer model, SUV or hatchback style vehicle bearing an unknown North Carolina registration.
UPDATE from Virginia State Police: Per the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, 2-year-old Raequon Alan Ashby has been safely located. The search for his abductor, Jashar R. Ashby, 21, continues at this time.
PREVIOUS: The Virginia State Police and the Virginia Missing Children Clearinghouse has issued an AMBER Alert on behalf of the Warren County Sheriffs Office, for a child abduction that occurred on July 3, 2019 at 1550 hours. The child is believed to be in extreme danger and was last seen at Park Way, Front Royal, VA.
Abducted is Raequon Alan Ashby, White, Male, Brown hair, Blue eyes, 2 years old, 1 foot 9 inches tall, weighing 25 lbs, Last seen wearing a light blue Paw Patrol shirt with a dark collar and red and black light up Paw Patrol tennis shoes. The child is believed to have been abducted by Raequon Alan Ashby, Black Male, Black hair, Brown eyes, 5 foot 10 inches tall, weighing 130 lbs, wearing a purple camouflage shirt.
Last seen driving a 2008 Red Chrysler Town and Country minivan, VA tag VTR-8376. For further information contact the Warren County Sheriffs Office at 540-635-4128 or visit www.vaamberalert.com
From Wason Center : As the Virginia General Assembly convenes a special session to focus on gun control in response to the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach, two recent polls by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University show that a majority of Virginia voters say it is more important to control who owns guns than to protect gun ownership rights (54%-41% in 2018; 55%-41% in 2016).
From Virginia State Police: BUENA VISTA, Va. – The Buena Vista Police Department expanded its search efforts Saturday (June 15) for a missing 30-year-old resident. With the assistance of the Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, an extensive search is underway near the Panther Falls area along Route 60 in Amherst County. Buena Vista Police also hope to hear from anyone who may have been passing through the Panther Falls area over the Memorial Day weekend and may recall having seen Chad H. Austin or his vehicle, a silver 2006 Hyundai Tiburon.
Mr. Austin was last seen this past Memorial Day (May 29) by campers in the Panther Falls area, east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. He was wearing a gray tank top with long shorts below the knees, possibly beige in color.
Mr. Austin was reported missing after his silver Hyundai Tiburon was found around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday (May 28, 2019) on Panther Falls Road in the Shady Mountain/Pedlar River area of Amherst County. The car was found abandoned about 2 miles down the turnoff for Panther Falls Road. His beloved, mixed-breed companion, a dog named Gunner, was locked inside the car.
“This is extremely unusual for Chad to have gone this long without communicating with his family or close friends,” said Buena Vista Police Chief Richard Hartman. “It’s also very out-of-character for Chad to have left Gunner behind and put at risk by being left inside a locked vehicle. Chad’s family says the two have been inseparable since Chad got him as a puppy and would never willingly let any harm come of him or to any animal, for that matter.”
A search of the immediate area resulted in several keys and other personal items belonging to Mr. Austin being found about a ½ mile from the abandoned car.
“Chad was well-known among the hiking community in this region and along the Appalachian Trail for his charitable goodwill, as he would often help with rides and food, and help folks find places to stay,” said Chief Hartman. “We are asking anyone who may recall seeing Chad, his car or even his dog, Gunner, at any time over the Memorial Day weekend to please contact us. No detail is too minor as it may be the very information we need to bring him safely home to his family.”
Austin is 6 feet in height and weighs between 150 to 170 lbs. He has brown eyes and brown hair. His dog, Gunner, is now being cared for by Mr. Austin’s family.
Anyone with information about Mr. Austin is encouraged to call the Buena Vista Police Department at 540-261-6171 or the Virginia State Police at #77 on a cell phone or dial 911.
FROM LYNCHBURG POLICE: June 16, 2019 Over the past week, several businesses have reported frauds where employees receive a phone call at the business. During the phone call, an individual poses as an employee from a corporate office who is investigating the business. Employees are told to alter their routine closing duties and change the way they handle nightly deposits.If you are a business owner or employee, it is highly recommended that if you receive a similar call to try to document the given name and phone number being used. Hang up and attempt to verify through your known corporate numbers or contacts the authenticity of the caller. If you suspect fraudulent activity, please contact the Lynchburg Police Department.