Fugitive couple charged in Nelson County shooting caught in Minnesota

Published: Aug. 23, 2017 at 10:11 AM EDT
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UPDATE (3:15 p.m. Aug. 24):

The North Carolina couple charged in a Nelson County shooting and believed to be involved with a missing man has been captured in Minnesota.

According to Virginia State Police, Sean D. Castorina and Penny M. Dawson were arrested at a gas station in the Fergus Falls area.

They had last been seen Tuesday evening at a gas station in Afton, Virginia.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office, the Nelson County, Va., Sheriff’s Office, Burlington, N.C., Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service all worked together over the past few days in the search for the couple.

Now, police say they'll be extradited back to Virginia to face charges of malicious wounding, use of a firearm and grand larceny of a vehicle.

The situation began when the Burlington, N.C. Police Department got word that Harold Dean Simpson, 84, was missing. He had last been seen by his family at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

Then, on Monday evening, his silver 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt was found by the Nelson County Sheriff's Office, abandoned on Laurel Road.

On Tuesday evening, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call just down the road from where the vehicle was found, and found a 60-year-old woman suffering from a gunshot wound in her home on Laurel Road.

That woman continues to be treated at UVA Medical Center.

After the shooting, Castorina and Dawson fled the residence in a 2002 Dodge Dakota that belonged to the owner of the home. The two were still driving the stolen pickup truck when apprehended in Minnesota.

The search continues for Mr. Simpson, however. Anyone with information related to Mr. Simpson’s disappearance is asked to still please contact the Burlington, N.C., Police or call 911 or, in Virginia, call #77 on a cell phone.


UPDATE (6:30 p.m. Aug. 23):

The North Carolina couple charged in a Nelson County shooting and believed to have stolen a truck was last seen in Afton.

According to Virginia State Police, Sean D. Castorina, the 42-year-old Burlington, N.C. man wanted for malicious wounding, gassed up a stolen 2002 Dodge Dakota at Ashley’s Market on Route 151 in Afton on Tuesday evening.

This would have followed the shooting of a 60-year-old woman at a Nelson County home on Laurel Road.

State Police are continuing their search for Castorina, as well as Penny M. Dawson, who is believed to be traveling with him.

The stolen pickup truck has a blue tailgate and a custom, faded-red bumper with the North Carolina license plate DHN 5418 affixed to it.

Both are considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. If you see them, call 911 or #77 on a cell phone. Also call that number if you recall seeing them or the truck around 5 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Due to the search efforts, people attending the Lockn' Festival can expect to see an increased police presence in the area as police comb Nelson County.

The search also continues for Harold Simpson, an 84-year-old man last seen at his home on August 18, whose Chevrolet Cobalt was found abandoned on Monday just down the road from the shooting that occurred on Tuesday.


Authorities in Virginia are searching for a North Carolina couple they say has been charged in a shooting that seriously injured a woman.

Virginia State Police say Sean D. Castorina and Penny M. Dawson of Burlington, North Carolina are wanted on charges of malicious wounding and use of a firearm, following a shooting at Nelson County home on Tuesday evening.

The incident started around at 6:48 p.m. Monday, when the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office got a call about an abandoned Chevrolet Cobalt parked on Laurel Road.

The vehicle was registered to a North Carolina man who had been reported missing to the Burlington, N.C. Police Department.

Burlington police were also looking for Castorina and Dawson, who had been reported missing. Authorities say the couple was wanted for questioning about the man's disappearance.

The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday about a shooting victim at a home on Laurel Road near Rockfish River.

An adult female was found suffering from a gunshot wound at the scene.

She was taken to UVA Medical Center and is being treated for serious injuries.

A white 2002 Dodge Dakota with a medium-blue tailgate and custom, faded-red, squared-off bumper, was missing from the scene, and police believe the couple took it. It has a North Carolina license plate, DHN 5418, affixed to the bumper.

Castorina and Dawson are considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached.

Police say Castorina has family in Norfolk.

Anyone with information about Castorina and/or Dawson and/or the missing pickup truck is encouraged to call 911 or #77 on a cell phone.


Posted by Nelson County Sheriff's Office - Sheriff David W. Hill on Wednesday, August 23, 2017