Convicted sex offender charged with murder after missing Lynchburg woman found dead

Victim was originally reported missing on Dec. 2

A missing person case is now a murder investigation in Lynchburg.


A Lynchburg man has been charged with murder after a woman who was missing for two weeks was found dead, according to police.

Authorities said Clarissa Jones, 37, was found dead in the 200 block of Trents Ferry Road on Sunday. Jones was originally reported missing on Dec. 2 by her family, according to Lynchburg Police.

Leonard Blackwell, 41, of Lynchburg was arrested in connection with Jones’ death and was charged with the following:

  • Murder
  • Prohibition against concealment of dead bodies
  • Concealing or compounding offenses
  • Failure to register as a sex offender

In 2001, Leonard was convicted of committing lewd acts with a child in Florida, according to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. In 2010, he was convicted in Pennsylvania, he was convicted of failing to comply with registration requirements in Pennsylvania. In 2019, he was convicted in Virginia of failing to register as a sex offender/providing false info.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Davis at 434-455-6166.


Authorities are searching for Clarissa Jones, 37, who was reported missing on Dec. 2 (Lynchburg Police Department)

Authorities are searching for a 37-year-old woman who was reported missing out of Lynchburg earlier this month.

Clarissa Jones was reported missing on Dec. 2 by her family, according to Lynchburg Police. Authorities described her as 5 feet 2 inches, around 225 pounds with multi-colored braided hair.

Police said Jones was last seen wearing a pullover hoodie, multi-colored pants and red sneakers.

Authorities are asking anyone who may have seen her to contact Det. Dubie at 434-455-6102.

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.