HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a woman’s body was found on a church patio in Mechanicsville on Wednesday afternoon.
Willie Nelson Jr., the chairperson of trustee ministry at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, was the one who made the initial call to police notifying them that there was a dead body on his church’s property.
The body of the woman, now identified as 56-year-old Andrea Thompson-Lambert of Richmond. was found on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Thompson-Lambert was wearing a medical hospital bracelet, which is how she was identified. Nelson also said she was unclothed, but her clothes were found on the property.
“I thought it was a mannequin because we’ve had some plays and stuff where we’ve used mannequins, so I thought maybe somebody had left it out,” Nelson said. “No idea or not even thinking that it was a person.”
Nelson added that there wasn’t an event or any planned activities happening at the church the day she was found. He said just stopping by the church on Wednesday to check the mail and make sure everything was okay at the building — and he’s happy that he did.
“I just happened to come by here that day and I’m glad I did because if I hadn’t, it probably would have been Saturday before anybody was out here,” Nelson said. “I’m glad that they (church members) wouldn’t have to discover anything like that.”
Nelson said Thompson-Lambert was not a member of the church and he had never seen her before. It is unknown at this point in the investigation how she got to the church yard. But police believe she may have wandered onto the property after being released from a nearby hospital.
“My heartfelt condolences go out to her family because it’s getting close to the holidays and all and its always a bad time to lose someone, but right around the holidays that makes it even worse,” Nelson said.
Nelson says the church will share the news with the congregation this Sunday and have a prayer for Thompson-Lambert.
Police are saying at this point in the investigation, there are no signs of foul play. Anyone with information is asked to call the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 804-365-6140.