CARROLL COUNTY, Va. - Authorities believe the reason a 20-year-old woman is dead is because of meth, according to Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner.
The body of Alexandra (Lexi) Dare Taylor was found by after hikers on the New River Trail found Wednesday evening.
Now, Kayla Ann Fulton, 20, and Codie Nathanial Fletcher, 21, of Galax, are charged in connection with her murder.
Gardner says Fulton and Fletcher knew Taylor before killing her and confessed to deputies after their arrest.
“One of them was extremely remorseful and the other was not the slightest bit remorseful,” said Gardner. "They knew details that only someone who was present would know. Things that we didn’t release and won’t release.”
Gardner said all three knew each other because of a drug deal involving meth and belives a drug robbery may be the reason why Taylor ended up dead in a barn.
"You think it’s a good idea to kill somebody over methamphetamines. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it and I don’t think anyone else will, either,” said Gardner.
Fulton and Fletcher each face the following charges: First-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the improper disposal of a human body.
They were arrested after Taylor's car was discovered by investigators at a residence on the Grayson side of Galax.
Galax police officers and members of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office were able to detain the pair after receiving a tip about the couple’s location and a brief foot pursuit in the Dollar General Store parking lot.
Fulton and Fletcher are both being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail without bond.
More charges are expected and the investigation is continuing.
The medical examiner's office is still working to determine how Taylor died.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a suspicious death after hikers on the New River Trail discovered a woman’s body in a barn just outside Galax town limits.
They made the discovery around 6 p.m. Wednesday off Cliffview Road. Multiple police departments were still on scene by 2 a.m. Thursday including the Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police.
Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner said the people who discovered the body are cooperating with the investigation and are not involved. He did not know why they were in the barn, which is visible from the trail and about a 100 yards away. He also said that his department took a missing persons report in the hours after the discovery was made and investigators are working to identify the victim.
“It’s suspicious is what I’ll say, everything about it is suspicious so we’re going to treat it as criminal in nature, always,” Gardner said. “We’re working the crime scene as if it’s a homicide, if it is, and if it’s not we still have that.”
The Medical Examiner’s office was on scene and Gardner said it will be up to them to determine a cause of death. He did not want to elaborate on the details of the scene but said there were few clues to a potential cause of death.
“There’s nothing that just jumps right out at you,” Gardner said. “Anytime it’s anything suspicious we’ll call the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke, they send someone out because it’s a body where it doesn’t belong.”
He said the woman is a young adult and at this point there are more questions than answers.
“(The victim) has no reason that we can think to be here or that we can find so far to be on this property,” Gardner said adding that the property owner is cooperating with the investigation as well.
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