Local Cold Cases Hit New State Police Website



A newly developed Virginia State Police website dedicated to unraveling “cold cases” across the Commonwealth includes four local homicides (one in Essex and three in King and Queen) that remain unsolved to this date.

The website (https:// coldcase. vsp. virginia. gov/) has been developed to create a database to assist Virginia State Police investigators and local law enforcement in soliciting tips from the public regarding missing persons, homicides, and unidentified remains.

The Essex County case that will soon be added to the website involves an April 1, 2006 murder.

Thirty-one-year old Steven Parker, a carpenter who resided in Supply, was discovered by a motorist face down in the northbound lane of U.S. Route 17 just north of Champlain around 4:40 a.m. that morning.

Parker was air lifted to the VCU Medical Center in Richmond where he was pronounced dead later that morning.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Parker’s death was due to blunt force trauma.

Steven Parker, pictured here in his high school graduation picture and a later family photo, was found lying in a travel lane of northbound Route 17 near Champlain, during the early morning of April 1, 2006. Seventeen years later, Parker’s family is still determined to find out what happened to Steven and the State Police are seeking the public’s help to bring his killer or killers to justice. Can you help?

Steven Parker, pictured here in his high school graduation picture and a later family photo, was found lying in a travel lane of northbound Route 17 near Champlain, during the early morning of April 1, 2006. Seventeen years later, Parker’s family is still determined to find out what happened to Steven and the State Police are seeking the public’s help to bring his killer or killers to justice. Can you help?

According to Virginia State Police spokesperson Jessica Shehan, the special agent assigned to the cold case unit has just begun working with the family of Steven Parker to push the case forward.

“We are hopeful for more visibility and new leads in the case,” Shehan told the Rappahannock Times.

The King and Queen County cases on the website involve the following victims:

James Edward “Scooter” Byrd, August 16, 2016.

Byrd, 24, was shot and killed when one or two people entered his residence at 6200 Newtown Road during the early morning hours of August 16, 2016.

The King and Queen Sheriff’s Office reported at that time that it received a 911 call approximately at 2:15 a.m. from a subject who was in the home when the incident occurred. The sheriff’s office responded to the scene and had two officers on scene within 15 minutes. Medic units arrived thereafter and found Byrd who had been shot several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

 

After further investigation it was determined that no forced entry was made. The scene was then processed by the King and Queen Sheriff’s with the Virginia State Police. The victim was then transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where the crime was ruled a homicide. This case is still open and ongoing, at this time. The murder weapon was later recovered in the city of Richmond, and confirmed by laboratory analysis.

Jennie Lee Johnson, November 11, 1991.

According to the website, Johnson was last seen alive the night of November 22, 1991. She visited a friend that night, within walking distance of her residence, but never returned home.

She was discovered the next morning in a field near Newtown Road (Route 721) deceased. It was apparent that she had been physically assaulted. Jennie Johnson’s death has not been solved despite an extensive investigation conducted by the Virginia State Police.

Brenda Michelle Gee Knight, June 29, 2001.

According to the website, on June 29, 2001, a body was recovered from the Mattaponi River in King and Queen County. In 2013 the body was finally identified as being Brenda Michelle Gee Knight. This identification was made possible thanks to scientific advancements and a family who never gave up. Brenda was a well-known beautician who grew up in Church Hill and had three young children at the time of her disappearance.

Brenda was last seen alive in November of 2000. An examination of her remains revealed the cause of death to be homicide.

State police are asking anyone who may have any information that could help solve one of these cases, to use the “Submit a Tip” form on each website page or contact the reporting agency directly.

Anyone who is aware of a cold case that is not currently on the website, is requested to contact the investigating agency. Unsolved cases are submitted to the Cold Case Database on a voluntary basis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *