Police had previous contact with Farmville suspect

By Tara Morgan - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

FARMVILLE, VA (WWBT) - A visitation was held Wednesday for pastor Mark Niederbrock. Niederbrock was one of four people found bludgeoned to death last Friday in Farmville.

His funeral is Thursday morning at the church he led for the last six years.

Today, investigators are following up on leads, trying to establish a more in-depth timeline.

Farmville police say Richard McCroskey came in contact with law officers three times before the four bodies were discovered in the home of slain Longwood professor Debra Kelley.

At 11:58 p.m. last Thursday night -- more than 16 hours before the gruesome find -- a Farmville police officer went to Kelley's home to check on Melanie Wells at the request of Well's mother who called police worried about her daughter.

Police say McCroskey told the officer wells and his girlfriend, Emma Niederbrock were at the movies.

One hour later, at 12:58 Friday morning, McCroskey himself called police about noises in the basement.

Police say McCroskey led officers to the basement door but they didn't find anything suspicious after taking a look downstairs.

It wasn't until a second call from Well's mother on Friday that police returned to the house.

At 4:30 that afternoon, a police officer saw flies on the windows and noticed a foul odor. That officer called for backup.

Earlier that morning, McCroskey was ticketed by a sheriff's deputy for driving without a license.   Police say McCroskey was in a car stolen from pastor Mark Niederbrock.

So far, McCroskey is only charged in the pastor's death. Police say they're awaiting  the medical examiner's forensic report before filing additional charges in the deaths of Debra Kelley, Emma Niederbrock and Melanie Wells. Police did not have a timeframe as to when they'll receive that report.

Meantime, Mark Niederbrock's mother from Illinois is on her way here as well as his friends and congregation members.

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