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Retired Spring Lake Cop,Wife Found Dead In Virginia

The grandson of a retired Spring Lake cop is charged with his murder after he and his wife were found dead in their Lynchburg, Virginia home.

John & Virginia Philbrook
John & Virginia Philbrook (WSET TV)

Robert Lee Philbrook,27, was arrested on Wednesday after the bodies of 73-year-old John Philbrook and his 71-year-old wife Virginia were found on Friday by police who were checking on the couple according to WSLS TV.

Police say there was no struggle according to WDBJ TV.


WDBJ TV says John was arrested at Lynchburg General Hospital but police did not say why he was there.

Neighbors became concerned about the Philbrooks after mail and newspapers began to collect on the couple’s porch and asked police for a welfare check.

Raised By His Grandparents

Robert Philbrook
Robert Philbrook (Campbell County, VA Sheriff’s Department)

Robert, who moved in to his grandparents home last November, also pawned $,400 worth of his grandparents’ jewelry after the shootings according to police. Surveillance video from a Lynchburg pawn shop indicate a relaxed Robert with the jewelry piled on a counter as employees went through it. Court records say he told them he had “just lost his grandparents,” reports WSLS TV

Police are not clear about the motive for the shooting. “Obviously something went wrong,” Major Lt Guthrie told WSET TV, which reports that John & Virginia had raised John.


“One Of The Good Guys”

Lynchburg, Virginia home of John & Virginia Philbrook
Lynchburg, Virginia home of John & Virginia Philbrook (WSLS TV)

Spring Lake Police Chief upon hearing of John’s death told the Star-Ledger, “We’re all shocked. He was one of the great guys.” John in recent years had driven a van for the Central Virginia Area Agency on Agency but left the job to care for his wife when her health became poor. A colleague told WSLS TV John enjoyed telling stories about his career as an officer in Spring Lake.

The Asbury Park Press reports John retired as an officer in 1991 and moved to Virginia. He joined the Spring Lake force in 1967 and was honored with a medal of valor in 1980.


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