Suspect in 19-year-old’s disappearance, death charged with murder

3 others charged; all will appear in court this month

Suspect in 19-year-old’s disappearance, death charged with murder
Keelyn Codynah, Robert Keating, David Newton and Juan Benavidez III all face charges in the case. (Source: Rappahannock Regional Jail)

SPOTSYLVANIA, VA (WWBT) - One of the suspects in the death of 19-year-old Megan Metzger now faces a murder charge.

David Newton’s charge of an accessory to murder was changed this week in the case.

Metzger’s remains were found July 21 in King George County after she went missing in Spotsylvania County on July 17.

Earlier this year, Newton, Keelyn R. Codynah, Robert P. Keating and David W. Newton were charged with an accessory after homicide.

Another suspect - Juan Benavidez III - faces a charge of accessory to murder.

All of the suspects will appear in court this month:

  • Newton will be arraigned on the murder charge, as well as a firearm charge, in Spotsylvania Circuit Court on Dec. 11
  • Codynah and Keating  will face a grand jury on Dec. 17
  • Benavidez is due in General District Court on Dec. 28
Megan Metzger
Megan Metzger

Court documents show two people arrested in connection with Metzger’s disappearance witnessed her murder, cleaned up the crime scene and disposed of the weapon.

The documents state Codynah helped remove Metzger’s body from the home and cleaned blood from the crime scene. Keating, the documents state, took the firearm used in the murder to Washington, DC, and disposed of it to help conceal the crime.

Newton’s involvement was not detailed in the documents earlier this year.

Court documents also show Codynah traveled to a Travelodge motel on the outskirts of Fredericksburg to pick up an item belonging to Metzger. That item is unknown.

According to time stamps on the document, Codynah picked the item up a little more than an hour before she was arrested by state police.

A woman who worked the overnight said she wasn't aware of a person by the name of Metzger staying at the motel.

After Metzger’s disappearance, police received information about a possible body being located in the Fairview Beach community of King George County. The human remains were found at various locations around the community.

Westmoreland County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Benavidez and charging him with arson. Investigators said he set Metzger’s car on fire and then took off into the woods to evade authorities.

The human remains discovered were located near Benavidez’s home, according to his address listed in court documents.

Virginia State Police said the vehicle arson is believed to be connected to the disappearance of Metzger.

Police said all five people were acquaintances.

Copyright 2018 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.