Hopewell neighbors react to death investigation - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hopewell neighbors react to death investigation

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) -

Normally, Station Street in Hopewell is considered by many in the community as the road less traveled.

But that couldn't be further from the truth Sunday as spectators continually drove through the area once word of a death investigation quickly spread. Now, Hopewell Police are in the middle of a death investigation.

Police said a person was walking near the 500 block of Station Road around 8 a.m. Sunday when they found a body in the woods. Authorities said the body is very decomposed.

The death appears to be suspicious in nature, according to police.

"You kind of figured something wild had happened down there and stuff because normally you don't see that many cops or detectives," said Christine Jarratt.

Jarratt and her family have lived just around the corner from where that body was found for nearly 15 years.

She called Sunday's discovery in the woods a rarity. Her daughter Ashley agrees.

"It's nerve-wracking. It really is, because stuff has happened all around Hopewell, but this is a very private street. We don't get too much traffic," she said.

Hopewell Police Deputy Chief Robert Skowron says they are hoping to use what they find to identify the victim which he says in some cases can be the hardest part.

"In anytime of death investigation you face a road block very early on if you are not able to do a positive identification of the person," Skowron said.

Neighbors said police questioned them asking if they heard gunshots recently or saw anyone suspicious in the area. Ashley Jarratt says she's always had her own suspicion about the wooded area. She and her mother say police checking the area isn't a bad idea at all.

"Somebody else could be buried in the woods, you don't really know. Ain't no telling what you could find," Jarratt said.

The medical examiner's office will now determine the cause of death. If you have any information that could be helpful to police you can call the Hopewell Police detective working this case at 804 541-2284.

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