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Police: Bland murder suspect knew victim

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

BLAND — A West Virginia man charged with second-degree murder and hit and run in Bland County knew the victim, according to Virginia State Police.

Police announced Tuesday the Roanoke medical examiner’s office identified the victim as 56-year-old Janice McBerry Poole of Griffin, Georgia. They went on to say Poole and the suspect, Gilbert Lee Riggs, 58, of Bluefield, West Virginia., were acquaintances. Riggs is identified in court records as being from Princeton, West Virginia.

According to her obituary, Poole was a retired truck driver of 15 years. Her funeral is Saturday in Georgia.

State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the circumstances leading to Poole’s death remains under investigation by the agency’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office.

Police received a report at 8:42 a.m. Nov. 5 that human remains had been located at the edge of a gravel lot at the intersection of Arrowhead Drive and Indian Village Trail, off the Bastian exit of I-77. The investigation led to Riggs being arrested at his residence later that day.

Riggs waived extradition to Virginia and is being held without bond at New River Valley Regional Jail.

State police are still seeking information from anyone who might have seen anything suspicious in the vicinity where Poole’s body was located or who may have information on the case. Call 276-228-3131 or email questions@vsp.virginia.gov.

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