Chesterfield Police make arrest in decades-old case, bringing in mother of five’s former boyfriend

Richmond

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Police Department arrested someone for the mysterious disappearance and death of Linda Evans Lunsford. Lunsford, a mother of five, went missing in 1996 and years later was presumed dead by police.

They have been investigating her death as a no-body homicide and now, over 20 years later, police suspect that her killer was John Harvey Howard, a former boyfriend, and coworker.

According to police, Lunsford was 38 years old when she was last seen on Dec. 26, 1996. The family reported her missing that same night and a missing person case began. Her remains have not been recovered but the case has been handled as a death investigation for years.

An investigation found that Lunsford and Howard finished shifts at a Walmart off of Midlothian Turnpike and then Lunsford was never seen again. Despite law enforcement agencies making efforts to find her, no one ever succeeded and Lunsford’s children were left with no answers as to what happened to their mother.

Monday, a Chesterfield County Grand Jury issued an indictment against Howard for first-degree murder. Howard, now 62 years old and residing on Pouncey Tract Road in Hanover County, was arrested on Tuesday.

According to a release from Chesterfield County Police, they now have the necessary evidence to “bring Howard to justice.”

Howard is being held without bond in the Chesterfield County Jail. He has a court hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

The police release says, “It is our sincere hope that today will mark the first step in bringing closure to Linda’s loving family.”

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