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Hanover Sheriff’s Office seeks public’s help in death probe

Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 3:23 pm

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Investigators believe James Wells was driving this gray van before he was found dead in it in Mechanicsville.

Investigators believe James Wells was driving this gray van the night before it was found burned in Mechanicsville.

Hanover investigators continue to look into the death of a Hopewell man, discovered in a burned minivan earlier this month in the Cold Harbor area, and are turning to the public for more information.



According to Lt. Chris Whitley, of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, investigators believe that on the evening of Friday, Aug. 8, and into the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 9, James M. Wells, 26, of Hopewell, was operating a gray 2004 Chevrolet minivan for Marshall Cab, where he was employed. The van had decals with white lettering on the sides and rear that displayed “Marshall Cab L.L.C.”

Investigators determined that Wells left Hopewell at approximately 12:30 a.m. with a destination of Mechanicsville. Evidence suggests that Wells arrived in the area of Cold Harbor Road and Stonewall Parkway in Mechanicsville later that morning.

Aug. 9, at approximately 7 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office responded to the 6200 block of Watt House Road where Wells’ body was found inside of a burned 2004 Chevrolet minivan.

Investigators continue to work closely with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause and manner of death.

Anyone who may have seen Wells or the cab he was operating during the evening of Friday, Aug. 8 or the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 9 is asked to contact the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at (804) 365-6140 or the Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.  Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637 (CRIMES), using the keyword “iTip” followed by their tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.