Richmond Times-Dispatch

Amelia site searched for missing person’s body

- BY MARK BOWES

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.

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 ?? CLEMENT BRITT/ TIMES- DISPATCH ?? Authoritie­s from Amelia and Chesterfie­ld counties braved the cold yesterday while searching for human remains at an unbuilt housing lot in Oak Springs Plantation off Genito Road. They received a tip that a woman missing since 1996 might be buried there.
CLEMENT BRITT/ TIMES- DISPATCH Authoritie­s from Amelia and Chesterfie­ld counties braved the cold yesterday while searching for human remains at an unbuilt housing lot in Oak Springs Plantation off Genito Road. They received a tip that a woman missing since 1996 might be buried there.

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