Nelson County, Virginia
By Tommy Stafford
The manhunt continues this morning for a couple charged with a shooting in Nelson County, Virginia and an investigation into the disappearance of a North Carolina man. As BRL reported first in stories here and here, local law officers became concerned after a request for help was sent out by Burlington, NC police. Officers thought the couple may be in Nelson County on Laurel Road as early as Monday night. BRL has learned that Sean D. Castorina was just released from prison on August 17th. He had been serving a sentence for 2nd degree murder in this case from 2003 where he plead guilty to shooting his former boss.
As of 3:30 Wednesday morning Nelson Sheriff David Hill asked residents to remain cautious and alert but removed the request for residents to shelter in place.
“Effective 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, the shelter in place alert is lifted. We still encourage residents in the immediate area to remain alert and report any suspicious activity and appreciate your vigilance. At this stage we have no reason to believe that our citizens cannot continue with their normal activities,” the sheriff continued.
The Virginia State Police are now actively looking for the couple along with other law enforcement agencies from across the region.
Here’s the latest verbatim press release from VSP as of 2:42 AM Wednesday morning – August 23, 2017.
“A North Carolina couple faces charges of malicious wounding and use of a firearm following a shooting at a Nelson County residence Tuesday (Aug. 22, 2017). Sean D. Castorina, 42, of Burlington, N.C., and Penny M. Dawson, 40, of Burlington, N.C., are both charged with those felony counts.
The incident began at 6:48 p.m. Monday (Aug. 20) when the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an abandoned Chevrolet Cobalt parked on Laurel Road in eastern Nelson County. Further investigation revealed the Cobalt was registered to an elderly North Carolina man who had been reported missing to the Burlington, N.C. Police Department. Burlington, N.C. Police were also looking for Castorina and Dawson, who had been reported missing.
During the course of the investigation into the abandoned vehicle and missing persons, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 7:30 p.m., Tuesday (Aug. 22) about a shooting victim at a residence on Laurel Road near Rockfish River. When law enforcement arrived on scene, they found an adult female suffering from a gunshot wound. She is currently being treated at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., for serious injuries.
Missing from the same residence is a white 2002 Dodge Dakota with a medium-blue tailgate and custom, faded-red, squared-off bumper. The pickup truck has a North Carolina license plate, DHN 5418, affixed to the bumper.
The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police are actively searching for Castorina and Dawson. Castorina has family in Norfolk, Va.
Both are considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. Anyone with information about Castorina and/or Dawson and/or the missing pickup truck is encouraged to call 911 or #77 on a cell phone.
Corinne N. Geller
Public Relations Director
Virginia State Police”