Deaths under investigation in Vinton

 Vinton, VA – On July 28, 2016 at 1:46PM, the Vinton Police Department was contacted and asked to respond to a duplex located in the 300 block of Raleigh Avenue, in the Town of Vinton, to conduct a safety and welfare check at a private residence.  Family members of the couple contacted police due to their inability to contact them, and due to concerns they had over communications they had received the previous evening, July 27, 2016. However, the Vinton Police Department was not notified of these concerns at that time.

At 1:51PM July 28, 2016, officers arrived at the residence, but were unable to make contact with the occupants.  After receiving no response at the door, and observing the couple’s vehicles parked in the driveway, the officers made entry into the home.  Upon entry, the responding officers located the bodies of two deceased persons in the upper level of the home.

Special Agents from the Virginia State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, were contacted by the Vinton Police Department to assist Vinton detectives with the investigation and the processing of the scene. The deceased persons have been identified as Ms. Arwen Gina Harless, age 39, and Mr. Randall Scott Whetzel, age 36, both of Vinton.  There are no other persons or suspects being sought in relation to these deaths or this investigation.  The bodies of the deceased have been transported to the state medical examiner’s office so as to determine the official manner and cause of death.

No further information regarding this investigation will be released at this time.

Thomas L. Foster

Chief of Police




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