‘A difficult day for us’: 3 children, mother found shot and killed in Chesterfield home identified

Police have apprehended a suspect in Maryland in connection to this homicide
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 7:57 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:58 AM EST
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Police have arrested a man in connection to a shooting that killed one woman and three children inside a Chesterfield home Friday morning.

Police received a call for a disturbance at a home off the 4200 block of Laurel Oak Road at around 5 a.m. on Nov. 8.

Officials said 39-year-old JoAnna M. Cottle was trying to contact the police for a suspicious person outside of her home.

“We don’t know if she was already awake or what caused her to see him, but she saw him outside first, and she made contact with us, and obviously we could hear shots fired, and the phone line went silent,” said Chris Hensley with the Chesterfield County Police Department.

Police said when they arrived at the home, they found Cottle and her three children, Kaelyn M. Parson, 13, Kinsey M. Cottle, 4, and Jayson L. Cottle, 4, dead with gunshot wounds.

Officers responded to a home on the 4200 block of Laurel Oak Road for a reported shooting at...
Officers responded to a home on the 4200 block of Laurel Oak Road for a reported shooting at around 5 a.m.(WWBT)

“In a situation like this that we have children that were involved, many of us are parents, and that’s a difficult day for us,” said Major Mike Louth with the Chesterfield Police Department. “No way to minimize that one, so it’s tough for everyone involved.”

After investigating, police identified the suspect as Jonah L. Adams, 35, of Waldorf, Md. Adams was previously in a relationship with JoAnna and is the father of Kinsey and Jayson Cottle.

Jonah Adams was arrested near his home in Maryland.
Jonah Adams was arrested near his home in Maryland.(Chesterfield County Police Department)

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, in January 2018, Joanna Cottle was granted a 72-hour emergency protective order against Adams. Cottle claimed he was threatening and abusing her and allegedly choked and punched her while she was pregnant with his twins.

After that order expired, Cottle was granted a preliminary protective order for 15 additional days until a full hearing could be held for a permanent order, but it was denied and dismissed by a judge in February of that year. Richmond Times Dispatch says court records do not say why.

Chesterfield detectives have obtained warrants for Adams for four counts of first-degree murder in relation to this morning’s homicide. Adams was apprehended by ATF near agents at his residence in Maryland and remains in custody in that state.

“We were able to put him in the area around 4 a.m. right before the murders, and like I said, when we look at these, and you don’t have a lot to go on, you’re going to look at who does this person know, who are their relationships with and then we push from there on an investigative standpoint,” Hensley said.

Candy Hirsh, who lives nearby, said her husband heard three loud bangs as he was preparing to go to work early Friday morning.

“My husband heard three bangs and thought somebody was breaking into cars or something,” she said. “He said that the neighborhood was blocked off.”

The road reopened shortly after 4 p.m., nearly 10 hours after investigators blocked off the street for their investigation.

While an arrest has been made Chesterfield police ask for anyone who may have any doorbell camera footage of the incident or know anything to call Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.