NELSON COUNTY, Va. – The North Carolina couple accused of seriously wounding a Nelson County woman in a shooting is now charged with murder in connection to an ongoing missing person investigation in North Carolina.
Sean D. Castorina and Penny M. Dawson were arrested at a gas station in Minnesota on August 24. They are now accused of murdering 84-year-old Harold Dean Simpson.
Investigators received a tip and were able to find human remains in Caswell County, North Carolina. The remains were then taken to the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. Based on interviews and through the course of the investigation, investigators believe the remains found are Simpson's, but are awaiting official notification from the medical examiner.
The incident began Aug. 19, when the Burlington Police Department in North Carolina received a report of a missing person. Simpson was last seen by his family at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 18.
Simpson’s silver 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt was found by the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at 6:48 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21. The vehicle had been abandoned on Laurel Road in eastern Nelson County, Sheriff's Office officials said.
During the course of the investigation into the abandoned vehicle, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 about a shooting victim at a residence 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 continues to be treated at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia., for serious injuries.
After the shooting, police said Castorina and Dawson fled the residence in a 2002 Dodge Dakota that belonged to the owner of the residence. The two were still driving the stolen pickup truck when apprehended in Minnesota, police said.
Currently, Castorina and Dawson are in Minnesota awaiting extradition.