New details revealed in suspicious death investigation

Published 6:28 pm Wednesday, October 6, 2021

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The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office revealed new details Oct. 6 on the investigation into a suspicious death of a county resident, including finding the resident’s previously missing vehicle.

An Oct. 4 sheriff’s office news release stated that at approximately 1:23 p.m. that day, the Isle of Wight County 911 center received a call concerning an unresponsive male in a residence in the 13000 block of Bethany Church Road. 

The release stated that a neighbor was at that location to cut the grass for the male who resides in the home. That neighbor, when attempting to contact the homeowner, made the call to 911, police said.

Upon the arrival of sheriff’s office personnel, 62-year-old Donald Clarke was found deceased in the home, the release stated, noting that investigators believed circumstances of a suspicious nature existed. 

An Oct. 6 sheriff’s office release stated that an autopsy was performed by the medical examiner in Norfolk. 

“At this time, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner has not issued a cause and manner of death,” officials stated in the release.

The sheriff’s office had been attempting to locate a 2006 Toyota Avalon belonging to Clarke and missing from his home when his body was discovered by law enforcement, the release stated. That the vehicle was recovered in Newport News on Oct. 6, police said.

The release noted that investigators continue to investigate the death of Clarke as suspicious. At the time of the discovery of his body, it was apparent to law enforcement that someone had entered the residence by force and that items were missing from the home in addition to Clarke’s vehicle.

Investigators continue to ask for help in this incident, the release stated in conclusion. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the crime line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or submit a tip at