Teen finds house ablaze; discovers parent’s murder-suicide
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Chesterfield Police said two people were killed in what appears to be a “domestic-related murder-suicide.”
The bodies of Walter M. Hester Jr., 50, and his wife, Clara M. Hester, 46, were found in a burning Chesterfield home late Thursday night. Police said it appeared the Hesters died before the fire started.
Investigators said it appeared Walter Hester shot his wife and then set his home on fire before turning the gun on himself. Their teenage son returned home and quickly made the emergency call.
Fire crews were called to the house, along the 2000 block of Castle Glen Court near Courthouse Road and Powhite Parkway in Chesterfield, around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
Chesterfield Fire and EMS Lt. Jason Elmore said when crews arrived they found smoke and fire coming from the home. He said while the fire was a difficult fire to fight, crews had it under control in about 25 minutes.
Neighbors in the area were shocked by the news, noting that it is typically a very quiet neighborhood.
“Everybody is very kind to one another…there’s never hardly any problems around here,” said Lara Leyendecker.
“I can’t even imagine the last time ever remotely criminal has happened around here,” Paul Fishcher said. The next door neighbor doesn’t ever recall hearing a disturbance at the house.
Police recovered a semi-automatic handgun. Police also told CBS 6 that the couple was having marital problems. CBS 6 checked the real estate records and found that the house had been in foreclosure since Oct. 25, 2012.