Amelia site searched for missing person’s body
Chesterfield police help dig for remains in unbuilt housing lot
Police are excavating a residential site in Amelia County after receiving a Crime Solvers tip that a missing person’s remains might be buried there.
Chesterfield County police and the Amelia Sheriff’s Office are working on the investigation, which centers on an unbuilt housing lot in Oak Springs Plantation off Genito Road. Forensic investigators and archaeologists have been digging since Monday morning looking for human remains.
“ We had some information that there may have been a possible gravesite out there,” Chesterfield police Capt. John Austin said.
Austin declined to identify which missing- person case may be involved, but police said members of the family of Linda Evans Lunsford were seen yesterday at the excavation site.
Lunsford, 38, vanished more than 10 years ago after leaving work in Chesterfield. Investigators say they believe she met with foul play.
Lunsford, a mother of five who lived in Amelia, disappeared Dec. 26, 1996, after having coffee with a co- worker at the McDonald’s in the Village Marketplace shopping center off Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield. She went there after finishing her shift at the Midlothian Wal- Mart at 8: 30 a. m.
Family members found her 1994 burgundy Nissan Sentra in front of the Food Lion store in the Village Marketplace, just north of McDonald’s. Police examined the car, which was locked when they found it, but found nothing suspicious.
The search area is being developed for a tract of homes. Police have covered the dig site with a large tent, which was taken down late yesterday as they prepared to bring in a backhoe.
“ It used to be a farm out there,” Austin said. “ They’ve torn down the old farmhouse, and they’ve got numerous homes that they’ve built out there. And [ the site being excavated] happens to be one of the lots that has not been developed at this point.”
No remains have been found, Austin said late yesterday.
“ Obviously, as with many of these cases, the potential of finding human remains could [ mean a body was buried there] for a number of other reasons,” Austin explained. “ This being an old farm site and farmhouse . . . [ it] could be anything from people being buried there many years ago with no . . . markings” to fallen soldiers killed during the Civil War.
Amelia Sheriff Jimmy E. Weaver said about 10 officers from the two departments and an archaeologist were at the site yesterday. Police plan to continue the excavation for at least another day.
Contact staff writer Mark Bowes at mbowes@ timesdispatch. com or ( 804) 649- 6450.
Staff writer Jamie C. Ruff contributed to this report.