According to family members, Madalyn Carey’s body was found after fire fighters were called to a home on Duxton Drive Tuesday morning.
"She was like another mother to everybody, she planted a lot of seeds in this school," said Virginia College student Erick Mcrae.
Former students of Dr. Madalyn Carey remember her as tender but tough, a teacher with high expectations who cared deeply about their future.
"She called us to make sure we had our homework done, she didn't give up on us,” former student Shuan Robertson said.
Carey's death gave her former students’ painful pause on Tuesday. Word spread of the fire that filled the Chester community with shock and black smoke.
Wednesday Chesterfield police would confirm that the female body found inside her home was shot before the structure burned down, making the case a homicide.
"She was like a ray of sunshine around here when everyone else was feeling gloomy," said former student Marissa Brower.
As the last rays of sun swept the campus of Virginia College where Carey taught medical classes, students and faculty clustered in grief over a teacher beloved by so many, who made it her mission to reach at risk students who needed support the most.
"She would guide us through the problem, she was there for us, she really cared," said Robertson.
Police have ruled the house fire “suspicious” and are now looking for a man who lived in the home Carey rented.
Lloyd Edward Warren Jr., 46, may be driving a black 2009 Nissan Altima bearing Virginia license plates WWA-2759.
Students said no one deserves this fate, but especially not a woman who gave so much to so many.
"The aura of the school will never be the same, it will never be the same," said Brower.
CBS 6 contacted the former wife of Warren Jr., who said they hadn't really spoken since the divorce in 1999. She did not wish to go on camera, and said only that the Chesterfield police department had contacted her about Warren's whereabouts.
She said that he had never witnessed any violent behavior and was unaware of any mental illness in his past.