Friday, September 24, 2010
Vinton couple found dead in likely murder-suicide [video]
Kimberly Drew had been seeking a divorce from her estranged husband, Timothy, and told friends she was becoming increasingly scared.
Photos by SAM DEAN The Roanoke Times
Neighbors comfort one another Thursday as they watch Vinton police investigate an apparent murder-suicide. Court papers show Kimberly and Timothy Drew were getting a divorce.
One of Kimberly Drew's friends said she went to the house to check on Drew and found a window cut open.
Photos by SAM DEAN The Roanoke Times
Neighbors and friends console one another Thursday after learning that Vinton police had discovered the bodies of Kimberly Drew and her estranged husband Timothy Drew inside a house on Halliahurst Avenue. Police say they suspect a murder-suicide.
Police seal off the scene of a shooting Thursday on Halliahurst Avenue in Vinton. Police found two bodies after responding to a 911 call about 8 a.m.
Kimberly Drew was scared.
Her husband, estranged for the past four months, attacked her new boyfriend over the weekend. Drew "didn't know what to do" Wednesday night when a friend invited her to sleep over rather than stay alone in the two-story Tudor house in Vinton that Drew once shared with her husband and their two children.
The invitation never got an answer.
Kimberly Drew, 44, an executive assistant at First Citizens Bank in Roanoke, was found shot to death Thursday morning on a bed. Her husband, Timothy Drew, 42, a former Roanoke firefighter who supervised locomotive maintenance for Norfolk Southern, lay dead atop her in what police said appeared to be a murder and suicide.
"Kimberly was afraid and didn't know what to do," a police search warrant quoted the friend, Celia Gerig, saying to a detective after she drove to the house on Halliahurst Avenue and discovered the bodies.
The Drews attended William Byrd High School together and had been married for nearly 20 years. They were scheduled for a divorce court hearing Tuesday on a complaint Kimberly Drew filed in June, describing the marriage as "intolerable and impossible to endure."
Timothy Drew was so verbally abusive that Kimberly Drew turned to the tranquilizer Xanax, she said in the divorce filing. He held her down, yanked her hair and told her, "You know what I could do to you," according to court papers. He had been having affairs with three women, another filing said.
The couple's children, ages 17 and 11, arrived on Halliahurst Avenue on Thursday to police cars, yellow crime-scene tape and horrified neighbors. They spent Wednesday night at their father's home on Norbourne Avenue in Vinton. They told officers Timothy Drew "seemed depressed about everything that was going on with their separation" the police search warrant said. They last saw him at 11 p.m. on his couch.
Vinton police Capt. Ben Cook said both victims were shot. The search warrant said police are investigating the slaying of Kimberly Drew.
As the couple's relationship sped toward its violent end in recent days, Timothy Drew drove to Franklin County and fought with Kimberly Drew's new boyfriend, according to the warrant. Drew, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds and licensed to carry a concealed pistol, was charged with assaulting Michael "Andy" Stegall on Sunday, according to a criminal complaint.
Stegall said Drew called him a name, threatened to kill him, threw him to the ground, hit him in the eye and bit him on the arm before a neighbor called the police, according to the complaint.
Drew swore out warrants in the same fight against Stegall, who also has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, for brandishing a firearm and assault. Stegall couldn't be reached Thursday.
Rhonda Stegall, the estranged wife of Michael Stegall and principal of Hidden Valley High School, said she and Timothy Drew were friends and spoke regularly.
"This was extremely out of character for him," she said. "I know him as a caring father. I never saw any anger issues. I never saw any of that."
Rhonda Stegall graduated from William Byrd High School with Timothy Drew in 1986, she said. Kimberly Drew graduated in 1984.
Kimberly Drew first filed for divorce in December 2009. The case was dismissed in May because court papers weren't properly served. Kimberly Drew filed for divorce again in June.
Kimberly Drew said in court papers that her husband was physically and verbally abusive and that the marriage had become unendurable. Timothy Drew had recently fought with his estranged wife's boyfriend, but people who knew him said they had never seen a violent side to him.
- Comment on Dan Casey's blog: Yet another sad moment in concealed carry
Timothy Drew "vexed, chided, humiliated and embarrassed the plaintiff such that the marriage was intolerable and impossible to endure," the lawsuit said.
Timothy Drew had been "cold and indifferent" toward his wife for several years, the divorce papers said. He "has also become physically abusive," his wife said. The suit suggested the couple had been separated off and on for years.
Kimberly Drew left the house on Halliahurst Avenue in January. She later moved back into the house, appraised at $165,900, and Timothy Drew moved to a relative's house on Norbourne Avenue.
For Gerig, Kimberly Drew's friend, the horror unspooled Thursday when she couldn't reach Drew by phone. She drove to the house, she later told police, and found a first-floor bedroom window open. The screen had been cut and a box cutter lay on the ground.
Video by Ryan Loew | The Roanoke Times
When Gerig peered into the window, she saw a man's body atop a woman on a bed, the search warrant said. Gerig called 911 just before 8 a.m.
Police blocked off Halliahurst Avenue, and neighbors, friends and relatives gathered nearby, weeping and hugging.
News researcher Belinda Harris and staff writers Jorge Valencia and Janelle Rucker contributed to this report.