Search continues for couple considered armed and dangerous after shooting

They are also wanted for questioning in the disappearance of an elderly man.

NELSON COUNTY, Va. – The Virginia State Police and Nelson County Sheriff’s Office are continuing their search efforts to locate the two North Carolina fugitives wanted for Tuesday night’s shooting of a woman in Nelson County.

State police and the sheriff’s office have been able to confirm that Sean D. Castorina, 42, of Burlington, North Carolina, gassed up the stolen 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup truck at Ashley’s Market on Route 151 in Afton, Va., on Tuesday evening.


This would have taken place following the shooting of a 60-year-old woman at a Nelson County residence on Laurel Road.


Anyone with information about Castorina and/or Dawson, or might recall seeing the pickup truck at the gas station around 5 p.m. Tuesday evening is asked to please call 911 or #77 on a cell phone. Tips can also be sent in via email to questions@vsp.virginia.gov.

The search also continues for the missing 84-year-old man, Harold D. Simpson of Burlington, N.C., who was last seen at his residence on Aug. 18. His Chevrolet Cobalt was found abandoned Monday (Aug. 21) down the road from the shooting that occurred the next night (Aug. 22).

Due to the ongoing search efforts, those attending the Lockn’ Festival 2017 can expect to see an increased police presence.


Sean Castorina was recently released from prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in North Carolina.


Nelson County deputies are searching for a couple considered armed and dangerous following a shooting and the suspicious disappearance of an 84-year-old man. 

Sean D. Castorina, 42, and Penny M. Dawson, 40, both of Burlington, North Carolina, are wanted on felony charges of malicious wounding and the use of a firearm. They are also wanted for questioning in the disappearance of a North Carolina man whose car was found in Nelson County. 

Harold Dean Simpson, 84, was last seen in Burlington, North Carolina by his family at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, August 18. He has no history of dementia or other cognitive impairments. 

Around 6:50 p.m. Monday, the Nelson County Sheriff's Office received a call about an abandoned Chevrolet Cobalt parked on Laurel Road. Investigators discovered that the empty car was registered to Simpson. 

During the course of the investigation into the abandoned vehicle and missing person, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tuesday about a shooting on Laurel Road near Rockfish River. When law enforcement arrived on scene, they found a 60-year-old woman suffering from a gunshot wound. She is currently being treated at the UVA Hospital in Charlottesville for serious injuries.

Missing from the same residence is a white 2002 Dodge Dakota with a medium-blue tailgate and a custom, faded-red, squared-off bumper. The pickup truck has a North Carolina license plate DHN 5418.

The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police are actively searching for Castorina and Dawson. Castorina has family in Norfolk.

Castorina has distinctive tattoos on his forearms. He is approximately 5'8" and weighs around 150 lbs. 

Dawson is 5'3" and weighs approximately 172 lbs. 

Both are considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. Anyone with information about Castorina and/or Dawson and/or the missing pickup truck is encouraged to call 911 or #77 on a cell phone.


The Nelson County Sheriff's Office is asking for assistance in locating a person of interest after a shooting Tuesday.

Both the Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police responded to the shooting in the 3000 block of Laurel Road, which they say remains an active crime scene.

Those in the area are asked to shelter in place until further notice.

Authorities are looking for a person of interest driving a white 2002 Dodge Dakota with a blue tailgate and North Carolina tag DHN-5418

If you locate the vehicle, contact police immediately. Do not attempt to approach the person, who may be armed and dangerous.

About the Authors: