HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities have charged two people in connection with the recent death of a Hopewell teenager who neighbors say had special needs.
Hopewell Police said they responded at around 9:20 p.m. on Sunday to the 400 block of N. 8th Avenue for reports of a juvenile found dead in a residence.
Upon arrival at the home, officers located the body of a 13-year old male. Neighbors tell 8News the victim’s name is Jalen Goldsborough and that he had special needs.
Amy FaJohn, the child’s 36-year old mother, was charged with first-degree murder and felony child neglect, according to a release from Hopewell Police.
Anthony Saunders, 34, was also charged with felony child neglect.
Police, in a joint investigation with Social Services, discovered that the two suspects had been living together.
Hopewell Police and the Department of Social Services will continue its investigation into the death as the body has been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
8News spoke with residents in the area who were shocked when they heard the news.
“It’s sad to have something like that happen,” neighbor Melessia Wheeler said. “I could never imagine killing my child. Nothing he could do would ever make me go that far.”
Wheeler told 8News about the scene on Sunday night.
“We opened our door and there were policemen running and there fire trucks and everything our street was blocked off. It was just chaotic.”
Another neighbor, David Maillard, also spoke with 8News about the scene.
“They were putting the crime tape up so I knew it wasn’t good,” Maillard said.
Wheeler described FaJohn and Saunders as quiet people who kept to themselves. She also said the family had three children, one with special needs.
“They didn’t come out much to play,” Wheeler explained. “They usually stayed indoors.”
The Hopewell Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit continues to investigate this matter and is further requesting that any person(s) who may have information in reference to this incident, contact Lead Detective Benjamin Ransom at (804) 541-2222.