Suspect in Virginia Beach double cold case homicide charged with first degree murder

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 19:55:48-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Thursday morning, 46-year-old Christopher Schmidt heard from a judge that he’s being charged with one count of first degree murder. This comes 14 years after 29-year-old Lois Schmidt and her 7-year-old son were found shot dead in their Virginia Beach home. News 3 confirmed that Christopher and Lois were married at one time.

Schmidt and 42-year-old Richard Stoner were arrested in June. Stoner faces two counts of first degree murder.

Today, neighbors who remember the tragic scene back in 2004 say they’re relieved the case has been re-opened.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Everybody had a good idea who it was. Of course, we all talked and we’re pretty sure of what went on. I hope the capital punishment comes in to play here," says Ben Norman, neighbor.

Police say in June 2004 just before 8 a.m., they were called to Newcombe Road in Virginia Beach for reports of a gunshot wound. When police, fire and paramedics arrived, they found Lois Schmidt and her 7-year-old son, Jonathan Vetrano, shot dead.

Police say a fire was also discovered at the home. In addition to both victims found dead, three family pets were also home at the time of the attack. Two dogs were shot and one died from the injury.

The case went cold after investigators exhausted just about every option.

But police say over the years, new information allowed them to make these two arrests. Stoner was found in Logansport, Indiana, and Christopher Schmidt was found in Deltona, Florida. Both have been extradited.

“It’s going to be closure for the whole neighborhood, especially for them - for the Bloises. I’m so happy for them that this is coming to an end. I imagine most of the neighborhood will go to the trial and if we can’t get in – we’ll wait outside," says Norman.

Christopher Schmidt is expected to be back in court at the end of July.