Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III, 20, is already charged in the killing of Mark Niederbrock, a pastor at a Presbyterian church in central Virginia. He's expected to face more charges in the future, after investigators sift through hundreds of pieces of forensic evidence.
At a news conference Tuesday, the other victims were identified as Longwood University professor Debra Kelley, 53; Emma Niederbrock, 16, the daughter of Kelley and Mark Niederbrock; and Melanie Wells, 18, of Inwood, W.Va.
The bodies were discovered over the weekend at Kelley's home in Farmville, about 50 miles west of Richmond. Debra Kelley and Mark Niederbrock had been separated for about a year.
Prince Edward County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Ennis would not reveal what kind of weapon was used, if the victims suffered other injuries or a possible motive. He confirmed that McCroskey was staying in Kelley's home during a visit to Virginia and called the investigation "unparalleled."
The girls had last logged in to their MySpace pages [here, perhaps] on Sept. 14. Mark Niederbrock was last heard from on Thursday, when he told the church treasurer he was going to Richmond for a meeting.
Sarah McCroskey has said her brother -- who rapped about killing, maiming and mutilating people under the moniker "Syko Sam" -- was a meek and kind person who never fought back when picked on and wouldn't do anything unless provoked.
Niederbrock and Kelley had taken their daughter and Wells to a concert in Michigan on Sept. 12, and the girls hung out with Richard McCroskey before and after the show, according to a friend.
News reports locate the pastor's church in either Hixburg (really!) or Pamplin, neither of which rates a mention at City-data.com. The
cities towns wide spots are pretty close to each other.
Here are the stats on Pastor Niederbrock's church. (Parenthetically, the main page of the PCUSA website makes no mention of Niederbrock's death, but does tell its parishoners that next month is "Domestic Violence Awareness Month". I don't know if this is what they had in mind, but note that the PCUSA is the oldline liberal Presbyterian denomination.) Walker's Presbyterian is down to 35 members after having lost 42 members in 2008. Appomattox is a conservative county, and Niederbrock's "separation" probably wasn't very popular.