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Police arrest man accused of burning car, woman still missing

Posted at 10:55 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 10:08:27-04

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Va. -- Juan Benavidez III, 19, of King George, was arrested by Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office personnel early Friday at about 1 a.m., according to Virginia State Police.

No other details about the arrest have been released at this time.

"More information will be provided at a later date as this investigation continues," a Virginia State Police spokesperson said.

Arrest Ends Manhunt

The arrest ended a manhunt for Benavidez, who is accused of setting a car on fire on Route 3 in Westmoreland County Thursday morning. That car, according to investigators, is connected to an alleged missing person's case in another county.

Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett, and Virginia State Police later confirmed, the case is that of 19-year-old Megan Lorraine Metzger. The Pamplin, Virginia woman was last seen July 17 and believed abducted.

Benavidez was arrested after a warrant was issued for his arson on the charge of arson of a vehicle.

Juan Benavidez III

Benavidez was the driver of the car found burning on Leedstown Road near Twiford, deputies said.

Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett that Benavidez told several people he killed someone, and he was going to dump body parts inside of a car, then set the car on fire.

Those sources said no body parts were located inside of the burned vehicle.

A tip from two farmers led law enforcement to a farm near Winter Harbor Road. Javier Medina said his brother-in-law watched Benavidez run, barefoot, bloodied and muddied, into the woods on his farm.

The ground search for Benavidez was suspended around 10:15 p.m. Thursday.

Virginia State Police, Westmoreland Sheriff deputies are heading the investigation with assistance from the King George Sheriff's Office, Virginia Conservation Police and the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips, photos, or video here.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Benavidez, contact Master Detective Jones at 804-493-8066.