Wood homicide investigation: What we know up to now
BEDFORD COUNTY (WSLS 10) - The Bedford County Sheriff's Department says three men are now charged with second degree murder in connection with the death of 17-year-old Raymond Wood.
Those three men are suspected MS-13 gang members who Sheriff Mike Brown says took Wood from Lynchburg against his will and killed him.
The investigation that began last Monday night with a body in the middle of Roaring Run Road has led to the charges announced Friday.
Brown says the investigation involved his department working alongside Lynchburg police and Homeland Security to piece together what initially began as three separate cases.
Raymond Wood's death investigation began when a driver spotted him on Roaring Run Road around 9:30 Monday night.
"While checking the body, the motorist advised dispatchers that an older model honda accord with one occupant drove by at a very high rate of speed," said Brown.
A deputy quickly tracked down that vehicle near Virginia Memorial Park on Route 221.
"The deputy turned and stopped the car and the driver of the car identified himself as Victor Rodas, age 19 of Lynchburg," said Brown.
Rodas was determined to be an illegal alien and was taken into custody.
Deputies then tracked a separate car that was spotted on Brookhill Road Tuesday morning.
It was stopped on Cottontown Road in Forest.
"The vehicle was occupied by three Hispanic males. Deputies determined that two of the three were illegal aliens. One of the illegal aliens, a Jose Ventura, was wanted for murder in Montgomery County Maryland," said Brown.
Brown says the driver of that vehicle was released, but Ventura and another man, Lisandro Posada-Vasquez were taken into custody.
Commonwealth's Attorney Wes Nance says now, the three are awaiting judgement in court.
"The juvenile domestic court for bedford county has signed over writs, or court orders, allowing the two individuals in immigration and customs detention to come back to the state system to stand trial," said Nance.
Brown says, so far, the motive for the killing appears to be drug-related.
"This is not a random act, and has a connection to narcotic-related activity," said Brown.
With the investigation ongoing, Nance and Brown did not take questions Friday.
"We are doggedly, strongly determined to bring justice to the family of Raymond Wood," said Nance.
Nance says the second degree murder charges could be upgraded in the future as more evidence becomes available.
He also says there could be more people charged as the investigation continues.
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