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UPDATED NEWS RELEASE: An 18-year-old Alexandria male has been arrested and charged in Saturday’s double homicide in Halifax County. On Thursday (Feb. 13, 2020) morning, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office took Mohamed A. Aly into custody without incident in Alexandria, Va. Aly has been charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Aly will be held at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Halifax, Va.

At 2:51 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8), Virginia State Police responded to Route 58 in Halifax County near Melon Road. A silver 2009 Nissan Maxima was located in the median with Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, Va., and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Md., found deceased and lying in the grass nearby. Both had suffered gunshot wounds.

“State police personnel have been working around the clock pursuing multiple leads related to this homicide investigation,” said Capt. David O. Cooper II, Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office. “We cannot thank the public enough for providing the tips and information necessary to aid our special agents with effecting an arrest so quickly.”

Since Saturday, the FBI Richmond Field Office, ATF and several other local law enforcement agencies have been assisting state police with the homicide investigation. State police has also been assisted with various evidentiary searches in Halifax County by K9 teams from the Virginia Department of Corrections and Bedford County Sheriff’s Office.

As the investigation remains ongoing at this time, the Virginia State Police is still encouraging anyone with information about this incident or individuals involved to contact us at 434-352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone or to email questions@vsp.virginia.gov. Anonymous calls are welcome.

 

PREVIOUS:  The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office continues to follow up on various leads related to the ongoing double homicide investigation in Halifax County. Investigators are still encouraging the public to come forward with any information related to the victims and/or the circumstances surrounding their deaths alongside Route 58 in the Turbeville community early Saturday morning.

At 2:51 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8), Virginia State Police responded to Route 58 in Halifax County near Melon Road. A silver 2009 Nissan Maxima was located in the median with Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, Va., and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Md., found lying in the grass nearby. This particular stretch of Route 58, also known as Philpott Road, is fairly isolated and not heavily traveled in the overnight hours.

The two victims were close acquaintances. The silver Nissan is registered to Bianda. Their remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner for examination and autopsy. At this stage of the investigation, state police is not releasing each victim’s cause of death. This particular stretch of Route 58, named Philpott Road, is fairly isolated and not heavily traveled in the overnight hours.

“Our special agents are diligently working to determine Mr. Bianda and Ms. Griffin’s exact destination Saturday morning and the circumstances surrounding their tragic deaths alongside Route 58 in Halifax County,” said Capt. David O. Cooper II, Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office. “We are exploring multiple possibilities to include there being a second vehicle involved, which is why it is so important for anyone who may have seen or heard something suspicious early Saturday morning along Philpott Road to reach out to state police.”

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police at 434-352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone or to email questions@vsp.virginia.gov. State police are looking for anyone who may recall having seen the silver Nissan Maxima with Virginia license plates anywhere between South Boston, Va. and Danville, Va. between the hours of 11 p.m. Friday (Feb. 7) and 3 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8). State police would also like to hear from anyone who may have passed through this stretch of Route 58/Philpott Road near Melon Road between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8) and saw or heard anything suspicious. Anonymous calls are welcome.