Deadly home invasion in small Virginia town is 'horrible nightmare,' woman says

Mrs. Judy Baldwin remembered as 'kind, understanding, forgiving'
Sussex County Sheriff Earnest Giles
Posted at 4:23 PM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-26 10:39:09-04

SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. -- Friends and neighbors are in "absolute shock" after a woman was killed and her husband was seriously injured in a home invasion Tuesday night in Wakefield, Virginia.

Judy Baldwin, 75, and Daniel Baldwin, 76, are well-known and respected pillars of the Wakefield community, according to Sussex County Sheriff Earnest Giles.

In fact, Giles remembered Mrs. Baldwin "one of the mothers of this community.”

“Everybody was her friend... and she was just a pillar, heavy in the church," Chuck Britt, who knew the couple well, said.

Judy Baldwin's death left Alan Campbell reeling.

“She was kind, understanding, forgiving, had the patience to deal with me as a child in the Sunday school. [She was] just a great person to be around," Campbell said.

Britt described Mr. Baldwin as a "solid gold" man who "would always have a joke" and was quick to offer help to anyone in need.

Deadly home invasion Wakefield, Virginia.
Deadly home invasion Wakefield, Virginia.

The crime was reported at about 11:50 p.m. Tuesday on East Church Street in Wakefield when the victim called a friend and asked that friend to call 911, Giles told CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil.

When deputies arrived just before midnight, they found the garage door and an interior door from the garage into the home open, Giles said.

Once inside, deputies located 76-year-old Daniel Baldwin suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Further inside the home, deputies discovered the body of 75-year-old Judy Baldwin. She had died from a gunshot wound, according to deputies.

Mr. Baldwin remained in the ICU at VCU Medical Center in Richmond at last check Wednesday, officials said.

Deadly home invasion Wakefield, Virginia.

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Giles said deputies believe what happened was a robbery turned worse. But he also noted that it appeared nothing was missing from the couple's home.

Deputies, who believe the case may be linked to several other break-ins in the area, located evidence and collected videos from the area, according to Giles.

Investigators believe there are two suspects involved in the shooting, but detailed descriptions of the suspects and their vehicle were not immediately available.

 Chuck Britt
Chuck Britt

"I can’t think of a single negative about any of the Baldwins," Britt said. "I just hope they find out what happened here because this is just an absolute shock to this community."

JoAnne Dunker, another longtime friend of the Baldwins, is still coming to grips with what happened.

"It’s a horrible nightmare that I wish I could wake up from,” Dunker said.

Campbell called the crime "a tragedy."

"I don’t understand why anyone would want to cause them harm, just very nice folks," he said.

The Sheriff’s Office and Crime Solvers are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information about the crime is urged to call the Sussex County Sheriff's Office Crime Stoppers at 434-597-4400.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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