UPDATE: Smyth County Sheriff identifies victim in apparent murder-suicide

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CHILHOWIE, Va. (WJHL) – The Smyth County Sheriff’s Office has identified the two bodies found in a Chilhowie home on Wednesday.

According to Sheriff Chip Shuler, the bodies of Sarah Elizabeth Cunningham, 46, and Chad Robert Cunningham, 48, were found at their Piedmont Circle home during a welfare check.

Shuler said that a preliminary autopsy conducted by the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke found both Cunninghams died from gunshot wounds.

“Results of a preliminary investigation by my Office shows that Sarah Cunningham was shot and killed by Chad Cunningham who then took his own life inside the couple’s home on Piedmont Circle,” the sheriff said.

Shuler stated the investigation remains active pending a final toxicology report from the Medical Examiner.


CHILHOWIE, Va. (WJHL) — Authorities say two bodies were found at a residence in the Chilhowie community Wednesday morning.

The Smyth County Sheriff’s Office says deputies discovered the bodies after conducting a welfare check at a home on Piedmont Road.

Investigators have processed the scene and the bodies will be taken to Roanoke for autopsies.

Sheriff Chip Shuler says the incident appears to be a murder-suicide, but the investigation is ongoing.

No other information has been released.

This is a developing story. Look for updates on WJHL.com.

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