VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – On Monday, June 28, 2004 at approximately 7:56 a.m., police, fire, and paramedics responded to the 1100 block of Newcombe Road for a reported gunshot wound. First responders located an adult male grievously injured from a gunshot wound. As officers entered the home, they found two wounded victims, and discovered that the residence was on fire. The two victims’ were removed from the burning home and were examined by paramedics only to find they had died from gunshot wounds.The fire department extinguished the fire. The injured man was transported to a local hospital where he was treated. Three family pets were also inside the home at the time of the attack. Two dogs had been shot, one died of its injury.
The deceased were identified as 29-year-old Lois Schmidt and 7-year-old Jonathan Vetrano.
Despite a robust and exhaustive investigation, all leads went cold, but the case was never forgotten.
Additional investigation over the years led to new information being uncovered, which has recently resulted in two arrests over the past several days.
On June 23, 2018, Virginia Beach Police Detectives with the support of the Logansport, Indiana Police Department, Cass County, Indiana Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana State Police, arrested Richard Stoner, 43, of Logansport, Indiana. Stoner has been charged with two counts of First Degree murder.
On June 25, 2018, Virginia Beach Police Detectives with the support of the Volusia County Florida Sheriff’s Office arrested Christopher Schmidt, 46, of Deltona, Florida. Schmidt has been charged with one count of First Degree murder.
Both Richard Stoner and Christopher Schmidt are being held in custody awaiting extradition proceedings to bring them back to Virginia Beach.
The agencies that have assisted with this investigation are numerous, but special thanks needs to be extended to the Logansport Indiana Police Department, Indiana State Police, Cass County Indiana Sheriff’s Office, Volusia County Florida Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Florida Sheriff’s Office, Fayetteville North Carolina Police Department, the FBI, ATF, and NCIS.
As the investigation continues and is further reviewed by the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney, it is possible that additional criminal charges may be sought or the existing charges may be amended.
We also wish to thank the family of Lois Schmidt and Johnathan Vetrano for their patience and encouragement over the years. We further request that everyone respect their privacy as they navigate this new and challenging chapter of their lives.
SOURCE: News release from Virginia Beach Police Department