New Kent Sheriff opens up about his daughter Sarah’s death

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NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. — For the first time since the death of his daughter Sarah, New Kent Sheriff J. Joseph McLaughlin, Jr. spoke out on social media about his family tragedy.

“We miss her every minute and there is this unbelievable wound in our hearts that we cannot explain, but we know she is no longer in emotional, mental or physical pain and that she is safe and happy in Heaven,” Sheriff McLaughlin posted on Facebook Monday. “Sarah was my earthly angel and I know I now have a guardian angel watching over me until I see her again.”

It was January 8 that emergency crews responded to a home along the 5900 block of New Kent Highway in Quinton. It was there, a body was discovered. Virginia State Police were called to handle the death investigation. At the time, investigators indicated there was no evidence of foul play. Investigators are awaiting a final report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, but reiterated Tuesday the death was not considered suspicious.

Sarah McLaughlin, 29, worked as a Communications Officer for the New Kent County Sheriff’s Office from 2006 until her death, according to her obituary.

“Our entire family will never be able to sufficiently express our sincere appreciation for all of the love, thoughts, prayers, cards, flowers, meals, and acts of kindness that have been shown to us since January 8th,” the sheriff said. “Everyone here pulled together to take care of us and to make sure that this office never missed a beat. I am so very proud of each of you for the way everyone pulled together and made sure the citizens of our great county continued to receive the best service possible even though you all were in shock and in pain.”

In lieu of flowers, her family asked donations be made to the New Kent Humane Society or a local ASPCA.