Funeral service for murdered Colonial Heights couple

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

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) – A celebration of life today for a Colonial Heights couple found murdered in their home.

Friends and family gathered to say a final farewell to 84-year-old Joseph Bland and his wife, Evelyn.

"We do come together in grief acknowledging that we've experienced a human loss," said Rev. Larry House.

Inside Ocran United Methodist Church, there were tears and laughter during the service.

"Joe is remembered as someone who loved to drive even to speeds of excess," said Rev. Keith Ritchie.

The couple was praised for their service to the community.

"She (Evelyn) made sure the job got done but in a loving caring way," said Petersburg Sheriff Vanessa Crawford.

Evelyn was a Major with the Petersburg Sheriff's Office. Joe founded the Namozine Volunteer Fire Department back in the 50's. Less than week ago, the couple was found beaten to death inside their home. Clifford Sanford is Evelyn's nephew.

"She was one of the aunts that was easy to get along with - every time you saw her she'd always tell you how nice it was to see you," said Sanford.

It wasn't only friends and family at the service Thursday afternoon but people like Gerald Miller, who never met the couple.

"The whole thing is tragic so I wanted to come and show my support for the family," said Miller.

Police say investigators are working around the clock to solve the double murder. For now, folks at the service say Joe and Evelyn will remain in their hearts and live on in spirit.

Investigators are asking for the public's help to solve this crime. If you know anything about the murders of Evelyn and Joe Bland, call Crime Solvers at 748-0660.

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