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Virginia State Police seek leads in small community double homicide

Posted at 11:11 AM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 12:49:21-05

HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. – Virginia State Police is asking the public for any information related to a double homicide in the Turbeville community of Halifax County early Saturday morning.

State police responded to Route 58 near Melon Road at approximately 2:51 a.m.

When troopers arrived at the scene, they located a 2009 Nissan Maxima in the median and two dead bodies lying in the grass nearby.

The victims have been identified as Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Maryland. The two victims were close acquaintances, according to police.

“This particular stretch of Route 58, also known as Philpott Road, is fairly isolated and not heavily traveled in the overnight hours,” said a state police spokesperson.

Investigators are asking the public to come forward with any information regarding the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

"Our special agents are diligently working to determine Mr. Bianda and Ms. Griffin's exact destination Saturday morning and the circumstances surrounding their tragic deaths alongside Route 58 in Halifax County," said Capt. David O. Cooper II, Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office. "We are exploring multiple possibilities to include there being a second vehicle involved, which is why it is so important for anyone who may have seen or heard something suspicious early Saturday morning along Philpott Road to reach out to state police."

Bianda and Griffin's remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner for examination and autopsy.

State police say they are not releasing the victims’ cause of death at this stage of the investigation.

Specifically, state police are looking for anyone who may recall having seen the Nissan Maxima with Virginia license plates anywhere between South Boston, Va. and Danville, Va. between the hours of 11 p.m. Friday (Feb. 7) and 3 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8).

They would also like to hear from anyone who may have passed through this stretch of Route 58 between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday or saw or heard anything suspicious.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Virginia State Police at 434-352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone or to email questions@vsp.virginia.gov. Anonymous calls are welcome.