Visitation service for Colonial Heights murder victims, New evidence in case

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) – As police continue to investigate the murder of an elderly Colonial Heights couple there's new information in the case.

According to a search warrant, which was made public Wednesday morning, floor mats and fingerprints, as well as, swabs of the steering wheel, passenger side glass, and driver side keyhole area were taken from the 2011 silver Mercury of 84-year-old Joseph Bland and his wife Evelyn.

The couple was beaten to death in their home.

Less than a week after the murders, friends of the victims are preparing to attend a visitation for the couple scheduled for Wednesday night.

"We have a sympathy card," said Ben Hawkins.

Hawkins will present the victims' family with a memorial bible and flag cover at the visitation. He's been friends with the murder victims for more than 40 years.

"They were good people always willing to help anybody," said Hawkins.

Hawkins and Joe worked together to form the Namozine Volunteer Fire Department back in 1957.

"He did his job, then we'd have a lot of foolishness to calm down a little bit -- that's how Joe was," said Hawkins.

Carole Hart will also be at the visitation. Evelyn Bland, who was a Major with Petersburg Sheriff's Office for 40 years, hired Hart and showed her the ropes.

"She taught me everything I know and I just can't get over it," said Hart.

For now, there are still more questions than answers about who killed the couple and why.

A funeral service for Joe and Evelyn will be held Thursday afternoon at 1:30. It will take place at Ocran United Methodist Church in Sutherland.

If you have any information in the murder case of Joe and Evelyn Bland, call Crime Solvers at 748-0660.

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