CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) -
The death of a beloved Chesterfield teacher back in January may now be considered suspicious.
48-year-old Vinny Ferraiolo was found dead inside the exotic pet store he owned called Off the Ark. At the time police said it was not suspicious, but now the medical examiner says it's a homicide.
Ferraiolo's death certificate now lists homicide as the manner of death. The cause of death was listed as ligature strangulation.
In January, the manner was listed as pending and the examiner changed it in march when he had more information.
Remnants of a vigil for Ferraiolo remain outside the pet store he owned. six months later, many in the community are just coming to grips with his loss.
Frequent customer EP Pollock says Ferraiolo helped him save his pet bearded dragon.
"He was just so lively and so alive and all the kids were around," he says. "He was just willing to help you with anything you asked him."
Pollock says the news of death left him confused back in January and even more so now to know that someone may have killed him.
"It's hard to believe that anyone would have disliked him that much do something like that."
Many of Ferraiolo's former students agree. They say in emails and messages how much he meant to them.
Chesterfield Police released the following statement: "We are aware of the Medical Examiner's finding and our investigation is still ongoing. As with any ongoing investigation, anyone with information should call police at 748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 748-0660. We have no additional comment at this time."
The Medical Examiner's Office says it's not uncommon to go back and change the manner of death once they know more information.
As to what exactly changed, they cannot tell us but Chesterfield Police continue to investigate.