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Pair charged in double murder, arson

January 13th, 2012 5:35 am by staff report

Sullivan County detectives located one of the bodies in the Hickory Tree community, over an embankment along Flatwoods Road.

ABINGDON — Police report a double-murder investigation in Abingdon has prompted two arrests, with the body of one victim located along a Sullivan County road.

At approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday, the Abingdon Fire Department and Abingdon Police Department were dispatched to a fire at 835 Baugh Lane. Inside the apartment, authorities located the body of the resident, Karen L. McKibben, 51.

According to a press release from Abingdon Police Chief Tony Sullivan, wounds on her body indicated she died before the fire began, while an accelerant was used to start the blaze.
 
Evidence at the scene led to the execution of a search warrant at nearby Apartment 3. Police say the resident, Donald Wayne Heath, 62, was not home, but his stepson, Coty Wayne Young, 19, and Young’s girlfriend, Stephanie Renee Molino, 24, were present.

“Evidence obtained at the scene indicated that Young and Molino may have possessed knowledge of the events that led to the fire in the McKibben home,” states the press release from Abingdon police. “Statements made by Young and Molino provided evidence that the two participated in the death of Karen McKibben, and also participated in the death of Donald Wayne Heath.”

Young and Molino allegedly admitted that Heath’s body was dumped along a road in the Cherokee National Forest.
 
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Abingdon police at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday, said SCSO Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart. SCSO detectives soon located Heath’s body in the Hickory Tree community, over an embankment along Flatwoods Road.

 Young and Molino were arrested by Abingdon police. Young is charged with capital murder and arson of an occupied building. Molino is charged with accessory to capital murder, first-degree murder and arson of an occupied building.
 
They are each being held in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail without bond.

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