Residents starting neighborhood watch after double murder

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) – Tonight one man is rallying his neighbors to work through their fear and defend their community after a double-murder.

Friday, 80-year-old Evelyn Bland and her 84-year-old husband Joe were murdered inside their home on Conduit Road. As police search for an older-model Oldsmobile, gold or brown in color, one man wants people to join together and make their neighborhood safer.

A memorial of cards, candles and flowers covers the steps here at the Bland's home. Three days after the murders of Joe and Evelyn the community is working together- ready to block crime from striking again.

What Randy Thomas intended to start two years--- is finally taking shape.

"Neighborhood watch. Because it seems like something to do. Because there's so much stuff going on in the neighborhood," said Randy.

A friend of Joe and Evelyn Bland, Randy plans to honor their memory with a better tomorrow.

"We need to be more concerned with what's going on around us. You just can't close the door and forget about it," he said.

Sunday night, by the light of candles at a vigil, Randy learned his neighbors are paralyzed with fear.

"One woman, she hasn't slept in two nights," Randy said.

Margaret Traylor hasn't slept alone since her friends were murdered Friday.

"I am not comfortable at all yet," she said.

Margaret won't be comfortable until police arrest the killer or killers. The medical examiner says the Blands died from blunt force injuries to the head. They were found in separate rooms. Their new car was found three blocks away. Police say nothing else was taken from the house.

"Everybody is very much concerned and very worried and scared," Margaret said.

Randy wants people like Margaret to work through that fear, and join the neighborhood watch. He says the Blands were vigilant. Their neighbors should be too.

"I'm going to be knocking on their doors," Randy said.

Colonial Heights police are following up on leads. But if you know anything that can help, make an anonymous call to 748-0660.

Funeral arrangements for the couple married more than 50 years are set. It will be Thursday and 1:30 p.m. at Ocran United Methodist Church. That's off of Cox Road in Sutherland. 

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