Remembering Farmville murders one year later

Published: Sep. 17, 2010 at 12:45 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2010 at 3:01 AM EDT
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By Tara Morgan - bio | email

FARMVILLE, VA (WWBT) - People in Farmville are still reeling from a horrific crime one year ago this week. The brutal killings of four people allegedly at the hands of a California horrorcore rapper. We could find out Monday when suspect Richard Sam McCroskey will stand trial.

People in the community say there's a great sense of sadness in the town. That when they walk by the house on 1st Avenue, they cringe at the thought of what happened there this time last year.

One year later, the memories haunt the people of Farmville especially those who live within walking distance of 505 1St Avenue.

"The house it looks so empty. It just looks sad - the house itself," said Katie Carmichael.

"I think it's very, very fresh. It doesn't seem like a year at all," said Katherine Dowdy.

On September 18, 2009, police discovered the bludgeoned bodies of Pastor Mark Niederbrock, his estranged wife, Longwood Professor Deborah Kelley, their daughter Emma and her friend from West Virginia, Melanie Wells.

The next day, Police arrested Richard Sam McCroskey at Richmond International Airport. McCroskey had been visiting his girlfriend, Emma. Pastor Niederbrock and Kelley had driven the girls and McCroskey to a horrorcore concert in Michigan the weekend before.

What still stands out for Katherine Dowdy is the night police uncovered the crime scene

"They blocked off all the big lights. It looked like a movie set," said Dowdy.

But she still can't forget seeing McCroskey and Emma walking by her house.

"He had on a black shirt with a big red clown face. I think I've told you this before and it was creepy, creepy creepy, " said Dowdy.

McCroskey will attend Monday's hearing when attorneys may settle on a trial date, possibly next month. Some believe, even one year later, the community isn't ready to relive the tragedy.

"I don't want to see it. I don't want to see the courtroom. I don't want to see what goes on. I don't want to look at the guy. He's just disgusting," said Carmichael.

McCroskey's attorney would not comment on the upcoming hearing. I did speak with a relative of Deborah Kelley. He plans to attend out of curiosity.

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