Neighbors wary as police hunt for sex offender suspected of double homicide

Posted at 12:07 AM, Feb 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-26 06:27:20-05

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Troopers are searching the Interstate 95-corridor, and deputies and police in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Fauquier Counties are looking everywhere else for 60-year-old John Jeffries.

He's wanted for the double murder of an elderly couple who were bound, gagged and beaten to death, police sources tell CBS 6.

With balloons, a cross and crime tape, neighbors say Bunker Hill has never seen this kind of bad news.

"It’s pretty discomforting,” said Sean Marchesani, who  lives across the street from Ethel and Nelson Slack.  He says the elderly couple never left each other’s side.  "Every time I'd see them, they were together going to the Plains or Marshall’s or the grocery store," he said.


The Slacks were found with trauma to their upper bodies on the living room floor of their Fauquier County house.  Church members had asked a neighbor to check on them after they didn't show up for church Sunday morning.  Ethel, according to neighbors, was in charge of the church bulletin.

“They were church-going people and seemed to be right nice," said neighbor Lester Sutphin.

Three law enforcement agencies along with troopers are now searching for Jeffries, a convicted sex offender. He has a brother that lives on Bunker Hill, and according to the Slacks’ grandson David, he was well known to the family.

Police say they believe the suspect could be hiding out in Fredericksburg, but say areas around the city are all on their radar.  That’s put the neighbors of Ethel and Nelson on the look-out.

“You know, you see this stuff on TV, but never think it will hit this close to home,” said Marchesani.  “This time it did."

John Wesley Jeffries is also wanted for strangling his ex-wife recently.  Police also believe he attacked another elderly man in Fredericksburg. That man did an interview with our Tracy Sears.  That story is right here on as well.