Bedford investigators discuss 5-year fight for justice after murder of Lynchburg teen Raymond Wood

Sunday marked 5 years since the 17-year-old was killed by alleged MS-13 gang members

Sunday marked five years since 17-year-old Raymond Wood was abducted from his Lynchburg home, driven into Bedford County, and killed by a group of alleged MS-13 gang members over marijuana.

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – Sunday marked five years since 17-year-old Raymond Wood was abducted from his Lynchburg home, driven into Bedford County, and killed by a group of alleged MS-13 gang members over marijuana.

Wes Nance, Bedford County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, says his office worked thousands of hours on the case — since the night of March 27th, 2017.

“It’s basically been nonstop. With six different defendants spread over those five years, it’s been a constant task,” said Nance.

It’s a constant task lead investigator, Jon Maddox, says he never experienced before.

“It’s been five years, and there’s been very few days that I haven’t worked on something about this case,” said Maddox.

Maddox says one factor that made the case unique was that they dealt with the international gang in the rural county. He says, at the time, he only had basic gang-related training.

“To be honest, it was like I was punched in the mouth very quickly. I had to get up to speed very fast,” said Maddox.

Maddox says he got up to speed with help from more than a dozen local, state, and federal agencies.

Nance says another unique factor was gathering DNA and digital evidence from three states and El Salvador.

He believes the pivotal element was when key witnesses notified law enforcement at the time of the incident, such as the driver who found Wood’s dead body on Roaring Run Road.

“That may not have led to the traffic stop, which brought the cellphones with the litany of evidence that it had on it to our attention. Those [alleged gang members] likely would’ve gotten away,” said Nance.

Most of those individuals were sentenced to life in prison. Two of them await their sentencing date.

A long journey to bring justice to Wood’s family.

“Is it a toll? Yes. But is it a responsibility and honor? Absolutely,” said Nance.


About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.