Arrests made in 2004 murders of Virginia Beach mother and son


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Almost 14 years to the day after a Virginia Beach woman and her 7-year-old son were found shot to death inside a burning home, investigators say they have made two arrests in the cold case.

When police, fire and paramedics were called to a home on Newcombe Road the morning of June 28, 2004 for a gunshot wound, they arrived to find a home on fire and a man outside who had been shot. Two additional victims were removed from the home. It was determined those victims, 29-year-old Lois Schmidt and her son Jonathan Vetrano, had also been shot. They both died from their wounds. The injured man, Schmidt’s brother, survived his injuries.

All leads went cold, but Virginia Beach Police say recent new information led them to two out-of-state suspects.

Virginia Beach detectives with the assistance of Indiana law enforcement, arrested 43-year-old Richard Stoner this past Saturday and charged him with two counts of first degree murder. And on Monday, they tracked down 46-year-old Christopher Schmidt in Florida, with help from the sheriff’s office in Volusia County. He is facing one count of first degree murder.

Police say Christopher Schmidt was Lois Schmidt’s spouse at the time of her death.

Although the family of the victims didn’t want to talk on Tuesday, neighbors who still live in the neighborhood say Lois’ mother dreamed of the day there would be an arrest.

Those neighbors didn’t want to go on camera out of respect for the family.

The two men are awaiting extradition hearings to bring them back to Virginia Beach.

Multiple law enforcement agencies assisted with this investigation, including the FBI, ATF and NCIS.

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