Suspects in officer’s death investigation affiliated with street gang

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia State Police say five total individuals have been charged in the death investigation of a missing police reserve captain from Waynesboro.

In a news conference Friday afternoon, VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller reviewed a timeline of the disappearance of Waynesboro Police Reserve Capt. Kevin Quick and the following investigation. She said the investigation has officially transitioned from that of a disappearance to that of a death.

VIDEO: Full VSP press conference

NBC 12 reported Thursday Quick’s body was found, citing a source, but Geller reconfirmed Friday that the adult male body found in a timbered area in Goochland County had not yet been positively identified. However, because of the “time that transpired since Quick’s disappearance, the fact that his vehicle was found abandoned, and his whereabouts have not been established,” his disappearance is being investigated as a death.

“Well, as each day passed without any sign of Kevin, we kind of knew this would be the inevitable result,” said Sgt. Brian Edwards of the Waynesboro Police Department, who worked with Quick for years.

Not long after the body was discovered, charges were filed against Halisi Ihuru, Leslie Hope Casterlow and Anthony Darnell Stokes in Goochland Thursday evening. NBC 12 first reported the three were facing capital murder charges for Quick’s death, but on Friday, Geller emphasized they were each charged with “one felony count of principle in the second degree,” meaning they are not charged with murder, but are somehow connected to Quick’s death.

Geller also said the trio were each charged with one felony count of gang participation, but did not specify which gang they were affiliated with. They are being held in Henrioc County Jail and will appear in court Monday.

Quick was last seen leaving his mother’s home in Afton late Friday to visit his girlfriend about 20 miles away. He never arrived. On Monday morning, his vehicle was recovered outside a residence in Louisa county.

Two siblings — 20-year-old Mersadies Shelton and 18-year-old Daniel Mathis — were taken into custody in Alexandria Tuesday night for theft of the vehicle. A third sibling, 24-year-old Shantai M. Shelton, was also taken into custody, but on unrelated, outstanding arrest warrants. The trio appeared in Louisa court Thursday morning where a judge denied bond and appointed defense attorneys, according to WWBT.

Investigators are still piecing together the network of individuals connected to Quick’s death and what connection they may have to each other, Geller said Friday. No weapons have been recovered, so far, and there is no evidence to connect Quick’s disappearance to any other crimes.

During the Friday press conference, a list of law enforcement agencies were thanked for participating in the investigation, which is extensive and complex, and has practically “gone state-wide,” according to Geller. VSP is actively pursuing new leads in the investigation, which has already received close to 200 tips from the public. Additional arrests and charges are pending, Geller said.

Sgt. Brian Edwards told Quick was very dedicated to his family and his work, serving with the department for 24 years.

“People would approach him and know that they would be treated with respect and kindness, and he would be genuinely interested in their problems,” Edwards said.

Edwards said that the department is struggling with Quick’s death, even though they deal with victims every day.

“You think as a police officer, if something bad is going to happen to you it’s going to be while you’re on duty,” he said. “You don’t think of a police officer becoming a victim when he’s off duty, when he’s simply doing an errand. It just goes to show you how dangerous of a place the world can be.”

Quick’s brothers on the Waynesboro police force are continuing to move forward with the investigation alongside their other duties, Edwards said: “We’re focusing on our jobs — we have to, that’s what keeps us going. Our citizens still need us, but definitely sadness is in our hearts right now.”

Investigators are still asking for tips from the public that could shed light on any aspect of the investigation — Quick’s disappearance or information on the suspects or Quick’s vehicle. Anyone with information about his whereabouts or the three Shelton siblings is asked to call Virginia State Police at 434-352-7128.

Geller said a reward for information leading to Quick’s whereabouts had increased to $40,000.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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