SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The man charged with murdering Cynthia Carver initially lied to investigators about having met with her the night before she was reported missing in February, court documents show.
Authorities arrested 39-year-old James Herbert Goodwyn, of Virginia Beach, on Thursday and charged him with first-degree murder.
Carver, 34, was reported missing from her Southampton County home on Feb. 22, and had been last seen alive the previous night when she dropped her children off at the babysitter.
Carver’s mother found a pool of blood near a back door and a bloody knife in the living room when she stopped by on Feb. 22 to check in on her daughter. Deputies searched the home and found more blood on the driveway, on sheets in the hallway and living room, and on clothing inside the home — but found no body.
The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office later identified a body found in the southern part of Suffolk in mid-March as Carver. Investigators believe Carver was abducted the night she disappeared.
A recently unsealed search warrant dated March 7 contains more details about a man Carver received a call from around 9 p.m. on Feb. 21. Investigators filed the warrant requesting to search a silver vehicle that was reportedly seen driving away from Carver’s home that night.
According to the warrant, her children remembered seeing an image of a black male on her phone and heard her telling “Little James” she would wait up for him.
Carver’s neighbor said in an interview with investigators that she saw a silver vehicle leaving Carver’s home at a high rate of speed between 10:45 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. and heard the vehicle’s tires squeal as it left, the search warrant states.
A ping of Carver’s cellphone showed it was moving away from her home around 10:55 p.m. A detective searched Carver’s Facebook and found she had communicated with Goodwyn through calls on Facebook Messenger on Feb. 21, the search warrant states.
The detective interviewed Goodwyn on March 6, according to the warrant.
In this interview, Goodwyn allegedly lied and claimed the only contact he had with Carver was through Facebook Messenger. Goodwyn also claimed he had the nickname of “Baby James” since he was a child and denied going by “Little James.”
According to the warrant, when the detective confronted Goodwyn about lying, he confessed that he was at Carver’s home around 10 p.m. on Feb 21.
Goodwyn told the detective he stayed in the vehicle — which he claimed was his girlfriend’s silver Chevrolet Impala — and that Carver came outside to meet him. He told the detective they talked for about 10 minutes before he drove back to Virginia Beach, the search warrant states.
Investigators asked to search this vehicle because it contained an infotainment system that is designed to store “a vast amount of data” including destinations, favorite locations, call logs, pictures, videos and the navigation history of everywhere the vehicle has traveled.
The search warrant states that a system like this could also record data such as the vehicle’s highlights being turned on and off, the doors being opened and closed and the vehicle’s location when bluetooth devices were connected.