Woman found dead in burning car, first stabbed in the neck

Curtis Callaway, 44, charged with second-degree murder, arson

HENRY COUNTY, Va. – Juanita Dalton died after being stabbed in the neck and her death has been ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner's office.

Curtis Callaway, 44, a man with a lengthy criminal past, is charged with second-degree murder and arson.

He is accused of killing 74-year-old Juanita Dalton, driving her white, 2010 Chevy Cobalt into a heavily wooded area on Irisburg Road in Henry County Sunday afternoon, and then setting the car on fire with her in it.

"It appears that they both just drove into Henry County," Henry County Sheriff's Office Lt. Col. Steve Eanes said.

Eanes said Callaway and Dalton worked together in the past and that's how they knew each other.

He said Callaway was driving Dalton's car when the two came into Henry County Sunday.

Why they were headed to Henry County is still under investigation.

"He gave us some information yesterday and we're following up on that," Eanes said.

Where they were going, where they came from and when, where, why, and how Dalton was killed are all questions Eanes didn't want to answer Wednesday.

"We don't want to reveal too many facts about what's going on until we get it all pieced together," Eanes said.

On Wednesday, 10 News went to Callaway's home in Pittsylvania County and tried to talk to neighbors.

On Tuesday, 10 News spoke to one of Dalton's neighbors off camera.

They said they were saddened to hear that she died and described her as a nice person, but also said that in today's world something like this isn't surprising.

According to court records, this is not Callaway's first run in with the law.

In 1995, he was sentenced to a year in jail for possession of a concealed weapon. In that same case, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison with three years suspended for shooting into an occupied building.

He was originally charged with attempted murder.

In 2010, he was sentenced to a year in jail with nine months suspended for misdemeanor malicious wounding.

Two years later, he found himself back behind bars serving one year of a 10 year sentence for abduction. 

The Henry County Sheriff's Office and the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office are jointly investigating Dalton's death.

Callaway is scheduled to be arraigned May 25.

Anyone with information should call 276-638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $2500.00 for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.

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