Police search for clues after double homicide victims found near ditch

Police search for clues after double homicide victims found near ditch
Virginia State Police are investigating after a man and a woman were found dead near a ditch in Halifax County Saturday (Source: Virginia State Police)

HALIFAX CO., Va. (WWBT) - Virginia State Police need help solving a double homicide after the victims were found lying in the grass in Halifax County.

On Feb. 8, State Police responded around 2:51 a.m. to Route 58 in Halifax near Melon Road in Turbeville for reports of a single-vehicle crash.

“A silver 2009 Nissan Maxima was located in the median [with the victims] found lying in the grass nearby,” police said. “This particular stretch of Route 58, also known as Philpott Road, is fairly isolated and not heavily traveled in the overnight hours.”

State police identified the victims as Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Maryland. Police said the Nissan is registered to Bianda.

Police said the victims were close acquaintances. Their remains were transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke for examination and autopsy. Police said the deaths do not appear to be a result of the Nissan crashing into the median, however would not release the cause of death.

"Our special agents are diligently working to determine Mr. Bianda and Ms. Griffin's exact destination Saturday morning and the circumstances surrounding their tragic deaths alongside Route 58 in Halifax County," said Capt. David O. Cooper II, Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office. "We are exploring multiple possibilities to include there being a second vehicle involved, which is why it is so important for anyone who may have seen or heard something suspicious early Saturday morning along Philpott Road to reach out to state police."

VSP Pursuing Leads in Double Homicide in #Halifax County VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office...

Posted by Virginia State Police on Tuesday, February 11, 2020

State police are looking for anyone who may remember seeing the silver Nissan Maxima with Virginia license plates anywhere between South Boston and Danville between the hours of 11 p.m. Friday (Feb. 7) and 3 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8).

“State police would also like to hear from anyone who may have passed through this stretch of Route 58/Philpott Road near Melon Road between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8) and saw or heard anything suspicious,” a release stated.

Anyone with information about the crime is urged to contact VSP at (434) 352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone or to email questions@vsp.virginia.gov.

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