CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The day after Christmas a Caroline County couple walked in on a man breaking into their home, authorities said.
According to the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, two homeowners returned to their home being robbed on Saturday, Dec. 26 in the 29000 block of Sparta Road at 5 p.m.
One of the suspects, later identified as 30-year-old Micheal Lee Barlow of Montpelier, shot and killed 47-year-old Carla Marie Trost-Walker before stealing the couple’s vehicle and escaping.
Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa held a press conference on Monday to discuss the details of the case.
Sheriff Lippa credited local media outlets for coverage that led to tips that helped the homicide investigation.
“This case was solved so quickly for a number of reasons,” Sheriff Lippa said. “We put the information we had out quickly on social media and almost immediately began receiving tips. The citizens who provided tips are to be commended.”
Based on the tips, the sheriff’s office was issued several warrants for Barlow including capital murder, attempted capital murder, armed robbery, breaking and entering, grand larceny, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and use of a firearm in a commission of a felony.
Authorities learned about Barlow’s whereabouts due to citizen tips. Digital surveillance was then used to locate the suspects.
“After nearly 24 hours of diligent effort, the general location of the suspects was identified. Surveillance units began to move in the direction of the location in Goochland,” Caroline County authorities said.
Goochland and Caroline County deputies engaged in a pursuit with the two suspects. The pursuit went from I-64 through Fluvanna County and then the suspect took the Charlottesville exit.
Barlow pointed his weapon at Caroline County deputies who sideswiped his car. Barlow then shot himself, Lippa said. The passenger, who was the other suspect, was taken into custody.
32-year-old Leonard Taylor Pippen of Ashland was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, conspiracy to commit burglary and grand larceny charges.
Authorities said Pippen appeared to be the getaway driver. They also noted that Pippen and Trost’s husband exchanged gunfire before the suspects fled the scene.
During the press conference, Sheriff Lippa said Barlow had done some work on the Trost’s home in the past and he knew what he was looking for.
Hanover, Goochland, Louisa, Ashland and Albemarle authorities along with Virginia State Police assisted in the investigation.
“This entire event has been tragic,” Sheriff Lippa said. “This was a senseless homicide. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Carla.”
The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to call Investigator Garthaffner at (804) 633-5400 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to remain anonymous please call the tip-line at (804) 633-1133 or the Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.
More Crime Coverage From 8News
- A man was injured in Richmond on Sunday morning after a reported shooting.
- When they got to the scene, they found a vehicle nearby that had collided with a curb at the intersection of Forest Hill Avenue and West 44th Street. Inside the car were a man and a woman, both of whom had gunshot wounds.
- According to the Richmond Police Department, officers responded to the Belt Atlantic Apartments on the 4000 block of Midlothian Turnpike just before 12:45 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6 for a report of a shooting.
- Two men are recovering at the hospital after being shot early Saturday morning in Richmond.
- The Emporia Police Department has identified three suspects in connection to the shooting death of 19-year-old Tavon Johnnie Harris Jr., who was killed earlier this week.
- Henrico Police said officers responded to a shooting in the 200 block of Carlstone Court in Highland Springs around 1:45 a.m. Friday. Once on scene, officers found the body of a woman who had been shot in the passenger seat of a car.
- According to a Stafford County Sheriff's Office press release, two men wearing partial face coverings allegedly entered the hotel room with one brandished a long knife.
- A man plead guilty this week to armed robbery after he made off with $15,908 from a bank in Harrisonburg, using a BB gun to intimidate the tellers working there.
- The causes of death for three members of a Cedar Falls family who were murdered at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground in July have been released, along with the cause of death for the man believed to have killed them.
- A house fire that occurred last week turned into a homicide investigation after a body found at the scene was deemed suspicious by authorities, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday in a release.