Two Blacksburg residents have been charged in connection with the death of Virginia Tech student Samanata Shrestha.
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Jessica Michelle Ewing, 22, a senior fisheries science major at Tech, has been charged with second-degree murder according to an arrest warrant executed around 2 a.m. on Monday. Court records list Saturday as the offense date.
Keifer Kyle Brown, 23, a 2013 Tech graduate, faces two charges in connection with the homicide investigation. The first is a felony offense for the “transport, conceal or alter (of) a dead body … with malicious intent and to prevent detection of an unlawful act.”
He is also charged with accessory after the fact by “receiving... comforting, or assisting Jessica Ewing” after knowing she had committed a felony. That charge is a misdemeanor. The warrant for his arrest was executed around 6 a.m. on Monday.
According to Brown’s LinkedIn profile, he studied religion and culture and planned to go into law enforcement.
Both are being held in Montgomery County Jail without bond.
According to the bail determinations sheet, Ewing was “unwilling to participate” and “would only say ‘I want an attorney.’”
Both Ewing and Brown’s arrest warrants state that a firearm was not used during the crime. Each live at separate off-campus residences.
Police have not yet released a cause of death or motive behind the incident.
University officials confirmed that Shrestha was a senior biological science major. She is from Vienna, Va., and was also a member of the service fraternity Epsilon Sigma Alpha.
Jessica Dehn, the president of ESA, sent out an email on Sunday night to the fraternity’s listserv, alerting members that she had been missing since Saturday.
Shrestha’s friends and fraternity members expressed their condolences by changing their profile picture in honor of Shrestha.
Blacksburg Police asked residents for help Monday morning in locating a black 2004 Mercedes C320 that they believed was used in connection to the homicide.
The car was located in Montgomery County after a call from a citizen, according to a BPD news release. However, the specific location where the vehicle was found has not yet been released.
The community was notified when Virginia Tech Police sent out a crime alert around noon on Monday saying that there was no “immediate threat to the university community.”
This is not Ewing’s first run in with the police. According to Virginia Tech Police arrest records, Jessica Michelle Ewing was arrested on Feb. 2, 2012 for trespassing at Saunders Hall. She was later charged with trespassing and storing wildlife unlawfully.
Ewing and Brown’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 17 at 2 p.m. in the Montgomery County General District Court.