HENRY COUNTY, Va. – State police continue to investigate after two people were found with gunshot wounds in a crashed car on Friday morning.
At this time, police believed what happened to be a murder-suicide.
Family members of one of the victims said there was some indication something like this might happen.
Najada Joyce’s mother was nearly inconsolable when she came to the scene on Friday afternoon. She collapsed multiple times as state police talked to her in the 3700 block of Soapstone Road.
She said her 20-year-old daughter and the other victim, Jalen Millner, 20, were dating and that Millner had previously come to her house threatened to kill her daughter and himself.
A short distance away in the woods, was a Nissan Altima, flipped on its side, with her daughter dead inside.
State police said Joyce was dead when first responders arrived Friday morning. Millner was alive and was extricated, but died shortly after.
“Once units got on scene, they found two people inside the vehicle with gunshot wounds,” said Sgt. Rick Garletts with Virginia State Police. "I believe the community is fine. I believe what went on in that car was between those two individuals and we’re working to find out what, exactly, happened.”
State police are investigating the mother’s claim about the threat.
A handgun was recovered from inside the vehicle, which is believed to have been used in the incident, according to police.
Vivian Penn, who lives just down the road from where the crash happened, says she left her house just before the crash occurred.
“I said, ‘Lord, have mercy.’ That’s just sad. That really is sad," Penn said when asked what her reaction to learning about the crash was. "I am very thankful, very thankful (I left when I did), because God has a way. He does protect his children.”
The motive for this apparent murder-suicide is also still under investigation.