BLACKSBURG – It’s been 13 years since his wife was initially thought to have choked to death on a piece of chicken, but a Montgomery County man now finds himself charged with her murder.
According to Capt. Robert New of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, “new evidence … came to light” in the investigation enabling authorities to file a first-degree murder charge against Mark Ward Faville Jr., 70. He is accused of the death of 52-year-old Anne Michelle (Mickey) Faville.
Although her death was at first thought to be accidental, New said it was determined to be a homicide based on “information developed in the days following her death.” Mark Faville apparently told police he found his wife dead upon arriving home from work.
New states in a press release that Montgomery County authorities responded to a Mt. Tabor Road residence March 7, 2000 for an unresponsive female. The woman, identified at Mickey Faville, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to an Associated Press story that ran in The Southwest Times in February 2001, police conducted a search of Mickey’s residence in January of that year as part of the investigation into her death. Authorities were said to have seized journals, notes, a computer, floppy disks and two types of medication.
Apparently, an affidavit used to obtain that search warrant was sealed by a court, as was a search warrant executed at a townhouse in Radford that same day.
Radford police Sgt. R.S. Schwarzer told reporters at that time that Mark Ward was arrested for obstruction of justice after he allegedly attempted to brandish a weapon at police. The outcome of that case could not be determined.
The AP story stated that police were not saying why they suspected foul play but that family members stated they “have long suspected Mickey Faville’s death wasn’t an accident.”
The report quoted her youngest daughter, Holly Cross, as saying, “The whole family is at this standstill because we’ve been waiting for so long for some closure. It’s been a hell of a toll. Everyone seems to have aged so much.”
Another AP story indicated the woman’s children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against their father, alleging he drugged, beat and strangled her after she told him she was leaving him. Court records show the suit was later dismissed.
Family members reportedly indicated the couple’s marriage had “turned turbulent” and that Mickey had “often spoke of leaving,” the AP report states. It goes on to say Mickey, a former elementary school teacher, told her daughter on the day of her death that she was going to move to California and reunite with a high school sweetheart.
Mark Faville is being held without bond in the Western Virginia Regional Jail, according to New. He said no further information on the case is available.