Authorities have arrested a man they called “a very dangerous individual” who is accused of murdering three people in two different Virginia towns.
Cola Winborne Beale IV, 30, faces three counts of second-degree murder and one count of arson in connection to the crimes that occurred over several days, law enforcement officials said, noting additional charges may be pending.
He was arrested on March 31, according to 13NewsNow.
Around 7:30 p.m. on March 24, firefighters put out a blaze at a Virginia Beach townhouse. Inside, they found the body of 31-year-old minister Czavier Hill, who authorities later determined had been shot to death, WTKR reported.
Neighbors told the station Hill was in a relationship with Beale and the two lived together.
The following day, March 25, Virginia Beach police performing a wellbeing check at the home of Clifton Baxter, 72, found him suffering a fatal gunshot wound.
WTKR reported the elderly victim had raised Beale.
“Mr. Baxter was a sweet, loving, kind man,” neighbor Debra Shaw said. “It is really hard for us to accept how he died. It's just really sick.”
On the afternoon of March 28, three days after the Virginia Beach slayings, police in Norfolk found the body of 32-year-old Downing D. Mclean in a home.
Beale faces a second-degree murder charge for that crime.
Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said in recent days that police considered Beale armed and a “very dangerous individual" but did not give a possible motive for the crimes he's alleged to have committed.
The murder suspect has a long criminal history, which includes convictions for sexual assault on a child and armed robbery, according to WTKR.
The U.S. Marshals Service offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Beale's arrest.
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