Friends, family say man killed at Tri-Cities motel worked at Fort Lee

Posted at 11:38 PM, Apr 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-06 09:24:08-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- The family of one of the two victims killed at a Petersburg motel Friday night is speaking out. CBS 6 News is still awaiting answers and confirmation from police, but sources said that the incident at the Loyalty Inn was  a double homicide.

The family of one of the victims, who spoke to CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil on Sunday, said that they are still coming to grips with what happened in room 103.

Family members said Billy Thurston leaves behind an 11-year old-daughter, a mother and father and many friends who are trying to focus on fond memories instead of the tragedy that unfolded inside the motel.

“I didn't believe it, I just couldn't believe it,” said Jeff Bowling, a friend of the family. "I’m just sort of speechless. I mean he's got his daughter and stuff, he was doing good at his job at Fort Lee and just a sad thing to see happen.”

Billy Thurston

Billy Thurston

Petersburg police were called to the Loyalty Inn on South Crater Street around 11:30 p.m. Friday after sources told CBS 6 News that the bodies of a man and woman found inside room 103.  Police have not released any information about the crime, but friends finding out about the murders are left with unanswered questions.

“I just can't imagine somebody doing something so hateful to somebody like him,” said Ryan Harris, another friend of the family. “Two young lives gone over probably nothing.”

Thurston graduated from Matoaca High School in 1995. As word of Thurston's death spread, many are having a hard time believing the 39-year-old is really gone.

“Billy was a good guy, he'd do anything for you. He loved his music, loved fast cars, 4-wheelers, all that type of stuff,” said  Bowling.

Friends said Billy leaves behind someone they know he truly loved.

“She's is going to need a father but luckily for her, the rest of the family, she has two awesome grandparents that are going to take care of her now. And I know she is going to be in good hands,” Harris said.

Thurston's family said they are in the beginning stages of funeral arrangements and appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers at this time.

CBS 6 News is still waiting on information from Petersburg police. Stay with and CBS 6 News for updates on this developing story.

Billy Thurston

Billy Thurston