Culpeper County Sheriff's Investigate Suspicious Death

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

December 19, 2005

The Culpeper County Sheriff's Department was called to check on the welfare of a woman at her home in Culpeper yesterday. What they found has investigators searching for answers.

Crime scene tape and a sheriff's deputies car marks the spot where a 37-year-old woman was found dead inside her burning basement. Culpeper County Sheriff Lee Hart says the investigation is suspicious in nature and " there are more questions than answers right now."

Long time Culpeper resident Alan Gilmore was shocked to hear the news. "We've had a couple of homicides in the last ten years. It's very quiet, we don't have much crime," he said.

Gilmore has lived and worked in Culpeper all of his life and says he has seen some big changes.

"In the last five or six years, the population has increased tremendously because of the construction boom," said Gilmore.

Published reports say the woman was on the phone with her father when she heard a knock at the door. After that, the father said the phone went dead. She was reportedly found hanging by an electrical cord in the basement.

This house is a short distance from where the car of Alicia Showalter Reynolds was found ten years ago. Her body was later discovered dumped in an open field. That suspect has never been found, a case that remains fresh in Gilmore's mind.

"The car was there, and she was never heard from again. [The case is] still open," he said.

The woman, whom police are not yet identifying, was a divorced mother of three. Police are awaiting the results of an autopsy by the Fairfax County Medical Examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

Police hope to release more information on this case sometime tomorrow.

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