2 Spotsylvania men face charges in 2015 murder

2 Spotsylvania men face charges in 2015 murder
Heather Ciccone (Source: Facebook - justiceforheatherciccone
Heather Ciccone (Source: Facebook - justiceforheatherciccone

SPOTSYLVANIA, VA (WWBT) - The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office says two people have been charged with first-degree murder of Heather Ciccone, who was found dead inside a car in December 2015.

Joshua Christopher Williams, 29, of Spotsylvania, was indicted by a grand jury on Monday on charges of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony; 28-year-old Jonathan Julian Vejarano, of Spotsylvania, faces charges of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Williams was arrested in May 2016 and charged with abduction in a case that sparked an Amber Alert. His son was found safe and reunited with his mother after going missing for nearly 24 hours.

The sheriff's office says detectives have worked with several jurisdictions for the past 15 months to bring the case involving Ciccone's death before a grand jury.

Ciccone, 21, was found dead in a vehicle parked at the end of a driveway on Dec. 6, 2015, in the 10300 block of Piney Branch Road.

She was discovered when Bonnie Shiflett, who lives there, looked outside her bedroom window and saw headlights shining up her driveway. She recalled it being around 11 in the evening, and the lights pierced the otherwise dark neighborhood.

Her husband, a retired emergency responder, didn't hesitate. He grabbed a flashlight, jumped into his truck, and drove down to the road to investigate.

"There was a car here. It sounded like the engine was revving a little bit. He got to the car, shined his flashlight inside, her foot was still on the gas pedal," recalled Shiflett. Her husband knew it was too late to save the young woman.

Investigators say Ciccone had severe trauma to the upper body. Shiflett's husband stayed with them as they worked throughout the night, pulling evidence. Blue markers still sit at the end of their driveway, pinning where detectives collected that evidence.

"It broke my heart. Every day, I've searched my local paper to see maybe they have an arrest, but it's been so long," said Shiflett, who says she was so happy to hear the news of the recent arrests.

"I know it won't bring her back, but it will bring her justice," she said.

For 15 months, she has had a difficult time driving down her driveway where Ciccone was found.

"When I would come down the driveway, I couldn't even look. It bothered me, that beautiful young woman…" she expressed. After hearing of the arrests, she put flowers and a solar lamp in that area to honor Ciccone.

The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office says it worked with the Fredericksburg City Police Department, Stafford County Sheriff's Office, King George County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police on the case.

The five-day jury trial for Williams and Vejarano is set to begin on August 14.

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