HOPKINTON - The dark and peaceful silence that enveloped the snow-covered meadows of rural Hope Valley was shattered early Wednesday morning when emergency vehicles sped toward Woody Hill Road. Word soon spread that, there, within the tiny hamlet of farms and forests, an apparent murder had occurred.
Troopers from the Hope Valley State Police Barracks received a phone call at approximately 3:30 a.m. whereby the caller stated that there was a possible violent altercation taking place at 110 Woody Hill Road. Upon arriving at the scene, troopers saw flames through the windows of the house and immediately contacted the fire department. Just after 4 a.m., firefighters from Hope Valley, Ashaway, Carolina and Exeter arrived at the scene.
Two separate fires were discovered burning inside the house and, though the flames failed to flourish past the home’s interior, they succeeded in burning through the floor above the basement. The Fire Marshall determined the blaze had been intentionally set. The house was empty of residential occupants; however a dead body was discovered in one of the rooms.
“At about 4:12 a.m., our dispatcher received an alert from Hopkinton Police via the computer regarding a suspect being sought in connection with a possible homicide,” said Richmond Chief of Police Elwood Johnson. “They provided a vehicle description; a red GMC pickup truck with registration, and the suspect's name. They cautioned that he may be armed and dangerous. Our dispatcher, Dewey Lawing, broadcast the alert to our third shift patrols.”
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