John Harvey Howard, 62, of Hanover, Virginia, United States has been arrested by the Chesterfield Police Department. He was charged with first-degree murder.
Howard is a former boyfriend of Linda Evans Lunsford, who is also 62 if she is still alive. They were no longer in a relationship when they worked together at the Walmart along Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield, Virginia.
On December 26, 1996, Lunsford was seen leaving work with Howard after their shifts. The two then had coffee at the McDonald’s in the Village Marketplace shopping center off Midlothian Turnpike.
That was the last time Lunsford was seen alive and her 1994 burgundy Nissan Sentra was later found locked in the parking lot of the Food Lion store in the Village Marketplace. In a statement sent to WTVR, a Chesterfield Police Department spokesperson said she was reported missing by her family that night.”
“After years of investigating what was initially a suspicious missing person case, investigators concluded that Lunsford was deceased though her remains have not been recovered,” the spokesperson continued. “This case is classified as a death investigation, specifically a no-body homicide.”
When questioned by the police in 1996, Howard claimed that Lunsford visited him at his home to talk about their relationship and she was safe when she left. However, she was threatening to file a sexual harassment complaint against him, according to her sister Kathryn Rose, who died on January 26, 2016 at the age of 55.
In 2006, Rose told The Chesterfield Observer that Howard was stalking Lunsford. Rose said her sister “made several statements at Thanksgiving that if anything happened to her, it would be him.”
Lunsford has five children namely Jimmy Lunsford, 44, Ben Lunsford, 43, Lynda Thurston, 41, Lindsey White, 39, and Leslie Hall, 38. Linda is the former wife of Lynwood Lunsford, 58.
On May 17, 2021, detectives presented the case to a Chesterfield County Grand Jury, which issued an indictment for first-degree murder for Howard. On May 18, 2021, the U.S. Marshals helped the Chesterfield Police Department arrest him, NBC 12 reported.
The Hanover resident is being held without bond at the Chesterfield County Jail. He is expected to appear in court 1t 9:30 a.m. on May 19, 2021.