Petersburg murder, abduction suspect worked for victims, family says

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jan 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-22 15:37:57-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- The man at the center of a violent crime spree across several counties used to work for his victims, according to WTVR .

Alfred Woodard said Kristopher Jones worked for his contracting business for several years, but wouldn't elaborate on that horrific day.

Mount Sinai Christian Center congregation remembers Pastor Woodard. (Photo: WTVR)

Alfred's wife, Minnie, was found dead in the woods behind a vacant property in Chesterfield, along River Road, Thursday afternoon.

Dozens filled the Mount Sinai Christian Center in Petersburg on Saturday for a vigil where both Alfred and Minnie are pastors."I know her life has already spoken for itself," Alfred, said.

The Woodard's have six children and many grandchildren together who were present for the emotional ceremony.

"She was a woman of kindness, gentleness and straight forward in her answers to you when you come to her for the truth," Alfred said.

The Woodard's life turned upside down on Wednesday when police said that Jones abducted Mr. Woodard and attempted to have him withdraw money, first from his ATM and then from within the Bank of America on S. Crater Road in Petersburg. The intervention of bank employees may have saved Woodard’s life.

Jones left Woodard at the bank. His next moves are unknown, including the manner in which he allegedly killed Minnie Woodard. Mr. Woodard believed she was at the home, but police found a knife and blood at the scene. Police chased Jones, driving Woodard’s vehicle, but he was able to elude police.

Law enforcement arrested Jones Thursday morning in Norfolk and charged him with carjacking, abduction, attempted armed robbery and grand larceny.

Police sources tell WTVR CBS 6 that Jones was cooperating with police and told them where he left a body.

Sunday service will go on as planned for the Woodard family, but it will be Alfred's first without his soul mate in more than 55 years.

"When I got to Mother Woodard, all of my sadness disappeared," he preached from the pulpit.

Woodard’s death is not the only one that police are investigating in connection with the suspect. In fact, Jones' girlfriend was found dead Wednesday night. Fifty-two-year old year Janice Lugo was found dead in her home, which is one block away from the Woodwards home on Jefferson Avenue.