Report: Man In Custody Possibly Linked To VA Serial Killings?

Reports today indicate federal investigators are looking into a man in West Virginia who may have ties to the alleged murders in Alexandria, VA. NBC 4 says 53-year-old Charles Severance was arrested on a weapons charge in Ohio County.

Set to appear in court Friday, it appears Severance will fight extradition to Northern Virginia where three high-profile murders took place over the last decade and two of the most recent occurring in the last 60 days.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille told NBC 4, “It’s never closed until justice is done, and so at this point I would encourage citizens to continue to call in any clues and evidence that they may find and have, share it with the police. That very valuable information that they will always continue to need until the police reaches a point where they believe this is the right person, and that has not been determined yet.”

Euille also said he thinks police would classify the man in custody as a possible “suspect.”

In an Alexandria press conference recently, Police Chief Earl L. Cook spoke out about the recent reports his department received from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science on three murder cases.

The report shows the bullets recovered from three homicides over the last 11 years have the “same general rifling class and characteristics and are similar in design to bullets,” submitted in all three cases. The chief went on to say, although that evidence appears to be close and possibly linked, that the microscopic comparisons were inconclusive.

Chief Cook said, “It was not possible to identify or eliminate these bullets as having been fired from the same firearm.”

Nancy Dunning, the wife of a local sheriff, was murdered at her home on Dec. 5, 2003 between 10:50 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. On Nov. 11, 2013, Ron Kirby was also shot and killed at his home nearby on Elm Street between 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Then the most recent murder on Feb. 6 of Ruthanne Lodato, shows an unknown suspect knocked at her door on Ridge Road Drive and shot and killed her and attempted to kill another woman with her.

The Alexandria police sketch. Courtesy: Alexandria Police.

The Alexandria police sketch. Courtesy: Alexandria Police.

According to police, the other woman, a witness in the murder, was able to give police a description. The suspect in the most recent homicide according to police, is described as a white male with gray hair and a full beard. He was last seen wearing tan outerwear.

Severance not only ran for mayor twice in the past and was originally wanted for firearm charges out of Loudon County, Va.

Keep following Crime Feed for updates.

The Alexandria Police Department is asking if you know anything about any of these cases or the possible unknown suspect, please call them: 746.6864 or email

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