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Judge rules probable cause for murder case of missing Southampton Co. mom to move forward

Posted: 4:38 AM, Feb 18, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-18 17:23:42-05
Man arrested in connection with homicide of missing Southampton Co. mom Cynthia Carver

SOUTHAMPTON, Co., Va. - The man accused of abducting and stabbing a young mother to death faced a judge Tuesday afternoon.

James Goodwyn Jr. is charged in the death of Cynthia Carver. Goodwyn is behind bars facing first-degree murder charges, and in court Tuesday, a judge ruled that there is probable cause to move the case forward.

During the hearing, investigators and Carver's mom testified in the case, answering questions about the evidence the circumstances of Carver's death.

Back in July, News 3 reporter Samantha German spoke with Cynthia’s mother, Ann Carver, who says her family is wanting closure and still wanting answers.

“I hope he confesses. I just want to know why," explained Ann.

Goodwyn’s charge of murder came after 34-year-old Carver's body was found in Suffolk nearly one month after she was reported missing. Back in May 2019, it was ruled the young mother died from being stabbed to death.

In court documents obtained by News 3, they say that during the investigation Goodwyn's Nike shoes were collected and compared to the shoe imprint found on the floor at the crime scene. Carver's toothbrush was also collected and compared to Goodwyn's DNA.

Court papers said a match of Goodwyn's DNA was found underneath Carver's right fingernail. News 3 also learned the test results from the Norfolk Department of Forensic Science contradict statements made by Goodwyn to police on several different occasions.

"Cold spikes going up and down your body. It's hard to believe someone could do something so vicious and then seem so calm. He seemed calm to me, but we were not calm. We were very frightful," said Cynthia's friend, Mable Christian.

Over the summer, Carver's mother told News 3 seeing Goodwyn behind bars was the start of healing, and during this difficult time she appreciates the overwhelming amount of support from the entire community.

"I just wanted to show my appreciation to everybody. You know everybody that supported us. I'm grateful. I'm thankful,” Ann said.

Goodwyn’s preliminary hearing started around 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon at the Southampton Courthouse.

In court Tuesday, Carver's family did not want to comment.

Related: Family of Cynthia Carver leads search party to find missing mother