RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
Richmond Police detectives have identified the body of the young woman who was found dead in the city’s south side on Monday morning and charged the victim’s stepsister and stepniece in connection with her murder.
Around 8:39 a.m. on March 24, a passerby who was collecting cans discovered the body of a badly-beaten adult black female in a ravine off of the 3700 block of North Hopkins Road, not far from Mt. Olivet Cemetery and Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. Police were initially unable to identify the victim.
Richmond Police soon released a detailed description of the victim, along with a sketch and pictures of distinctive tattoos on her arm and hands in an attempt to identify her. Several individuals who believed they knew the victim contacted Richmond Police detectives and positively identified the deceased woman as 20-year-old Samantha Myers, of 1307 Evert Ave.
Detectives Ed Aeschlimann and David Burt interviewed these individuals, one of whom confessed to killing Myers. The victim’s stepsister, 40-year-old Yvette Lee Hairston, also of 1307 Evert Ave., has been charged with murder. Police have also charged Hairston's daughter, 21-year-old Selena Hairston, with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the case. She resides at 1307 Evert Ave.
Though Myers is from Philadelphia, she would often visit her older stepsister at the Evert Avenue home. The two allegedly had a big fight about two months ago, and police suspect Yvette Hairston may have killed Myers in another argument.
“At this point, we believe the motive was argument, domestic-type related,” said Major Steve Drew.
Richmond Police do not believe Myers was killed where she was found dead; she was likely murdered in another location and then dumped in the ravine. According to a warrant obtained by ABC 8News, Myers was killed on or around Friday, Feb. 28, nearly a month before her body was discovered.
“I can say that we’re definitely looking at two potential crime scenes,” Major Drew said.
Police searched Hairston’s home and removed several items from the house. They say the investigation is ongoing, and that they have more people to speak with in connection with this case.
“There are still some missing pieces that we would like to have,” Major Drew said. “By no means is the case over with.”
Drew credits the media and the Richmond community for helping police detectives quickly identify the victim and make an arrest.
“Without the media and without the community involved in this case, we may still very well be trying to identify our victim,” Major Drew said. “That was a key element that we needed.”
“Major Crimes detectives worked tirelessly over the past three days canvassing the neighborhood for tips, following up on numerous leads and interviewing several individuals,” RPD Public Information Officer Dionne Waugh said in an email. “They would also like to thank the community and members of the media for sharing the description of the victim that helped lead to her identification.”
Stay with ABC 8News on air, online and on the go for updates on this developing story as they become available.