RICHMOND, Va. -- Suspect Matthew Shea is already at Henrico Jail for murder, accused of slitting the throat of a man in the Ollie’s parking lot back on January 8.
Three months earlier, Shea’s then-girlfriend and mother of six, Barbara Brown, was found dead after being strangled and beaten in the stomach as well.
Shea is now charged with her killing, too.
When Brown was found dead inside her Brook Road apartment, Crime Insider sources told me then it was suspicious.
It is now confirmed she was killed and police charged Shea with first-degree murder.
"It's been tough waiting for answers, and waiting for justice, and a resolution to what happened to my sister," said Dominique Williams.
Neighbors say they heard Shea and Brown arguing in late October; she was found dead hours later.
Her sister tells CBS 6 Brown and Shea were in a relationship.
"To know that she suffered and it was done in front of young children,” said Williams. “I mean obviously the children being the ages they were, there was nothing anybody could do for her."
“This investigation presented some challenges,” said Major Crimes Captain James Laino. “While we knew early on that Ms. Brown died of blunt force trauma, we needed to pinpoint how and why that occurred and who might be responsible for her injuries. It took patient collaboration between my detectives, the Medical Examiner’s Officer and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to determine she died as the result of an assault.”
Richmond Police always had Shea in their sights as a person of interest. Crime Insider sources say things kicked into high gear when he was arrested for the murder of Thomas McCauley in the Ollie’s parking lot in January.
"This could actually be a capital murder because in Virginia if someone commits two murders within a three year period, then it becomes capital murder,” said CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone. “One jurisdiction could convict him of murder. The other could get him for capital.”
Brown would've turned 26 next month, instead family members are coming to grips with the fact she was suffocated and beaten to death. That’s something her younger sister says she will never forget.
"Matt, you took a piece of my family and a piece of my heart, you took my sister from her babies and nobody will ever be able to bring her back,” said Williams.
Besides two murders in three years, Stone says Shea could potentially catch a capital charge for Brown’s murder, considering her family says she was 15 weeks pregnant.