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Sheriff’s deputies search for Sarah Greenhalgh’s killer, two years later

Two years ago, police and firefighters found Winchester Star reporter Sarah Greenhalgh slain in her home in Upperville.

On July 9, 2012, firefighters discovered Greenhalgh, 48, dead of a gunshot wound in her rental home on Dunvegan Drive. The home was on fire, a blaze investigators say was deliberately set. The sheriff's office has investigated Greenhalgh's death as a homicide, but in two years, they have made no charges against any suspects.

Greenhalgh's last post on Facebook before her death, mentioning a "bats--- crazy boy" who would not leave her alone, led police to search an apartment complex on Somerset Crossing Drive near Gainesville July 10, the home of John Sheldon Kearns, 50.

Last year, Fauquier County Circuit Court unsealed portions of some search warrants connected to the investigation of Greenhalgh's death. They reveal where authorities looked - but not what they found. According to the documents, Kearns, was the subject of at least two search warrants. They also searched the 2012 Jeep Wrangler of a woman named Joanne Ellen Petrizzo, as well as Greenhalgh's email and Facebook accounts.

Earlier this year, Sheriff Charlie Ray Fox and Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Fisher lobbied Fauquier supervisors for $600,000 to create a "cold case unit. Their request was not granted in its entirety, though supervisors did allocate money to create a crime analyst position for the sheriff's office.

According to a release from the sheriff's office, the investigation into Greenhalgh's killing is an active investigation and is the agency's top priority. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the office's criminal investigations division at (540) 422-8650 or Fauquier County CRIME SOLVERS at 540-349-1000. A caller can remain anonymous.


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