Middlesex community devastated by murder of mother

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Residents living in a small town in Middlesex County struggle to understand the sudden loss of one of their own.

Detectives located the body of Terrilynn St. John roughly a mile away from her home, covered in leaves.

She was reported missing from her home when she didn’t show up for work Tuesday morning.

Investigators said 23-year-old Alvin Keyser is responsible for her death.

They said Keyser led them to her body and had no reason to believe anyone else was involved in the crime.

Larry West, a Middlesex County native, hoped for a positive outcome.

“I was dismayed, it was a sad revelation,” West said.

Major Michael Sampson of Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office shared similar sentiments.

“It’s really a tight-knit community; we all kind of feel this so there’ll be some healing time,” he said.

Major Sampson said based on interviews with the suspect, he confronted St. John at her Mill Wharf Road home to address comments she might have made about him.

Major Sampson said the two hit each other in the driveway.

He said Keyser pushed St. John out of his van, hit her again and then strangled her until she stopped breathing.

St. John’s two and three-year-old children were inside the home while all of this took place.

“I’m just said that their family member has been taken away in such a brutal fashion,” West said.

8News stopped by two homes where Keyser’s family lived. Family members declined to comment.

St. John’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond to determine the exact cause of death.

Keyser faces two felony charges: first-degree murder and concealing a dead body.

Keyser is being held at Middle Peninsula Regional Security Center without bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, March 5.Find 8News on 

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