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19-year-old arrested days after missing mother's body found in Virginia woods

Son: 'She was just a beautiful person'
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Posted at 11:44 PM, May 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-23 22:54:16-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- Police have arrested a 19-year-old man days after a 61-year-old missing mother's body was discovered in Chesapeake.

Laura Miles' body was found in a wooded area in the 4600 block of Taylor Road Monday morning, according to Chesapeake Police.

Miles was reported missing after her vehicle was discovered away from her home and place of work and in a location she did not normally go, police said. Her black truck was found just a few minutes' walk from where police found her body, WTKR reported.

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Raheem Lamont Cherry

More than 60 Chesapeake officers and sheriff deputies combed through the woods Thursday morning looking for clues.

"Arm in arm, they walked this entire patch of woods," Leo Kosinski with Chesapeake Police said. " They had sticks for clearing debris, looking for anything that may lead to learning what happened to this woman."

Police charged 19-year-old Raheem Lamont Cherry on Saturday with first-degree murder, robbery and abduction.

Cherry is being held in the Chesapeake City Jail.

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Laura Miles

Family felt 'helpless'

Miles' son, Chris Rolleck, remembered her as a dedicated hockey mom and her kids' biggest supporter.

"She loved everything from hunting, fishing, the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, NASCAR," Rolleck told WTKR Tuesday. "Just camping with her husband. She was just a beautiful person."

Investigators said Miles was staying in the area near Taylor Point Apartments.

Rolleck said his mother was in the area for work and that the family was originally from the Buffalo, New York, area.

He said she often worked out of state as a safety manager for dredging crews.

Rolleck said he was grateful for the community's support.

"I just appreciate everybody who helped," he said. "It was a pretty helpless feeling for us... nothing we could do."

The FBI is assisting in the case, which officials said remains under investigation.

If you have any information, you are asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887), submit a tip online at P3Tips.com or via the P3Tips app.