Second body found in Carrsville

Published 7:08 pm Friday, April 27, 2012

An investigator takes photos of the inside of a pickup parked in Joe and Sandra Joyner's driveway on Walters Highway. Sandra Joyner was found dead inside the home on Friday and her husband is missing. KATE ARCHER/TIDEWATER NEWS

CARRSVILLE—The death of a Carrsville woman is being investigated as suspicious, while her husband as of late afternoon Friday was missing.

The Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Department at 9 p.m. Friday indicated a second body was found in nearby woods, but they had not identified the person.

Sandra Joyner, 58, on Friday was found dead inside a back room of her home at 31334 Walters Highway, said Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall. The cause of death appears to be blunt force trauma, Marshall said. An autopsy will be done.

Her husband, Joe Joyner, 62, who in November unsuccessfully ran for county supervisor, was missing, but not considered a suspect, Marshall said. Joe Joyner’s truck was parked in the driveway, and the home on the 100-acre farm was locked when authorities arrived. A relative had the key to let deputies inside.

Deputies found the second body on the Joyners’ property. It was found in the woods with the use of tracking dogs and a State Police helicopter.

The investigation is ongoing and the identification of the body and other details will be released as they become available.

The Sheriff’s Office received a call at 11:30 a.m. Friday to check on the couple’s welfare, Marshall said.

“They just hadn’t talked to them,” he said of relatives.

Marshall said the last time the couple was seen was by a relative on Thursday night at the Joyners’ home.

Deputies found Sandra Joyner with blood around her and obtained a search warrant. Authorities used dogs to search the woods.

Justin Whitley grew up next door to the Joyners and went on vacations with the couple and hunting with Joe.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Whitley said after hearing Sandra Joyner was found dead. “I heard she was shot and she could’ve been hit in the head. It didn’t make sense.”

He also believed it was odd that Joe Joyner’s whereabouts were unknown.

“There’s no reason he would be missing unless somebody got him,” said Whitley, 30, of Franklin.

He understands Sandra Joyner worked at Southampton Memorial Hospital. A semiretired farmer, Joe Joyner was a vocal opponent of the Navy’s proposal last year to use Franklin Municipal Airport for pilot training.

“They were always happy, every time you’d see them together,” Whitley said. “He’s a hard worker and very smart. I don’t know what to think of all this.”

Teri Long, who lives on nearby Lawrence Drive, said Joe Joyner every day met another nearby resident for breakfast. Long heard that on Friday Joe Joyner failed to show.

“He’s an awesome guy,” Long said. “A do-gooder. He would help people in the community.”

“I’m devastated,” the 58-year-old continued. “They’ve had other tragedies.”

Sandra Joyner’s father about two years ago committed suicide outside his daughter’s home, Long said.

Virginia State Police, Southampton County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin police assisted.