Police arrest suspect in 4 killings in central Va.

September 19, 2009 1:58:24 PM PDT
A 20-year-old man suspected of killing four people in a central Virginia college town was arrested at an airport Saturday, where he apparently tried to catch a flight to California, authorities said. Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III was arrested by Richmond International Airport police officers who found him asleep in the baggage claim area, said airport spokesman Troy Bell.

Farmville police found the bodies Friday afternoon in the home of Debra Kelly, an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies at Longwood University, school spokeswoman Gina Caldwell said Saturday.

Investigator Andy Ellington said authorities are awaiting identification of the bodies from the state medical examiner's office, but that probably would not happen until Monday. He said he was not in a position to discuss the case - including how the bodies were found or the cause of death - because he was with McCroskey, who was being transported back to Farmville.

Police had sent flyers to authorities elsewhere to help identify McCroskey.

McCroskey showed identification when officers approached him, did not resist and did not have any weapons with him, Bell said. He was being held at the airport until Farmville police came for him, and has been charged with murder, robbery and grand larceny.

State police were assisting in the investigation in Farmville, about 50 miles west of Richmond.

Longwood did not issue an alert after the bodies were discovered because it happened off campus, Caldwell said. She said the 4,500-student school and the small town were not accustomed to such violence.

"Not only on campus, but even in Farmville - it just doesn't happen here," she said.

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Associated Press Writer Dena Potter contributed to this report from Richmond, Va.


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