MARTINSVILLE, Va. - When 53-year-old Katherine Likens' body was found in the woods behind BB&T Bank on Thursday afternoon, tips began coming in to the Martinsville Police Department.
"We had information coming in from our citizens through social media, different phone calls. But our business community, since this was in our Uptown area where we have a business watch, they came together," said Martinsville Police Chief Ediie Cassady.
Robert Reynolds, 52, was arrested over the weekend at a hotel in Henry County and charged with Likens' death.
The business watch consists of periodic meetings between the police department and business as a way for police to hear the businesses' concerns and to provide safety and security tips for businesses.
Cindy Summit is the president of S&K Office Products, located directly across the street from where Likens' body was found.
She said a business watch meeting was just held last week and this homicide emphasizes the importance of the meetings.
"It helps network the business owners, it helps them to share ideas on what they can do to keep their businesses safe," said Summit.
Cassady said the business watch is a vital part of establishing the good relationship between the department and businesses that led to the business community being so willing to help the department during the initial investigation.
"The police are the community and the community are the police," Cassady emphasized.
Summit said businesses in Uptown will continue to support the police department and do whatever else they can to make Uptown as safe as possible.
"The businesses Uptown, we've been here awhile, we know each other, we work well together. So we do what we can to help each other out," said Summit.
Because the investigation is still ongoing, Cassady could not provide details Monday about the homicide.
As of Monday, Robert Reynolds remained in the Martinsville City Jail without bond.
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