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Topping man charged with murder of TerryLynn St. John



Topping man charged with murder of TerryLynn St. John

Alvin B. Keyser

On the afternoon of March 1, 2018 Alvin B. Keyser, 23, of Topping, was charged with the first-degree murder of TerryLynn St. John and concealing her body, reported Major Michael Sampson of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.

According to Major Sampson, on March 1, about 9 a.m., an unidentified body was found by Middlesex detectives in the Wake area. Shortly afterwards, Keyser, 23, was in custody. Detectives continued working on the case, and about 11:35 a.m. the body was positively identified as 23-year-old TerryLynn St. John of Wake.

Major Sampson explained that Keyser was questioned by detectives in reference to evidence and particular details of the crime scene. Keyser stated to detectives he confronted St. John at her residence on February 28 about statements she made about Keyser.

There was evidence of a struggle in St. John’s driveway.

While Keyser and St. John were in a van that he had driven to her house, Keyser said she struck him and he struck her. Keyser then pushed her out of the van he was driving. Keyser further stated after he pushed her out of the van he went around the van and hit St. John and then strangled her “until she stopped breathing.” Keyser then stated he loaded her in the van and put her body in the woods, which is about a mile from her residence. Keyser also admitted that certain items found at the original crime scene were his.

Keyser has been charged in Middlesex with first degree murder, a class 2 felony, and with concealing or altering a dead body, which is a class 6 felony. Keyser is being held without bond at the Middle Peninsula Regional Security Center in Saluda. His first appearance in court is set for Monday, March 5.

Major Sampson noted detectives worked through the early morning hours for two consecutive day in reference to the missing persons report of St. John.



Body of missing mom found; Topping man in custody

by Tom Chillemi

Alvin B. Keyser, 23, of Topping was taken into custody by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, March 1, about 9:30 a.m. in connection to the disappearance of Terrilynn St. John of Wake, reported Major M.E. Sampson of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office during a press conference on Thursday about noon.

St. John’s body was found in a small patch of woods off of Barracks Mill Road near Wake. An attempt had been made to cover the body, said Major Sampson. The body was found less than a mile from the victim’s residence at the intersection of Mill Wharf Road and Wake Road.

St. John was abducted from her home early Tuesday, February 27. Her two children, ages 22 months and 3 years, were found alone at the home by a family member.

Media posed questions to Major Sampson during the press conference heldThursday at the Hartfield Volunteer Fire Department event center.

According to Major Sampson, investigators received information that had been posted on social media.

Keyser had been contacted by investigators on Wednesday evening. The following morning Keyser “reached out” to investigators and led law enforcement to St. John’s body at about 9 a.m., said Major Sampson.

Keyser has been “fairly cooperative” with investigators, said Major Sampson.

Charges are pending as of 1 p.m. Thursday, but the death is considered a homicide. Forensic investigators remain on the scene.

Keyser was an acquaintance of St. John but their relationship was still being investigated.

Middlesex Sheriff David Bushey said he was thankful for all who came forward to help with the investigation. Those with more information should call 758-5600.


Mac Kennard holds a photo of himself and Terrilynn St. John, who was reported missing on Tuesday. “She’s my best friend,” he said.

An intense search for a missing mom

The father of a missing 23-year-old woman was clinging to hope as a long day faded to night on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.  “Hold on girl . . . we’re going to find you,” said Terry St. John.

The father had gone to the home of his daughter, Terrilynn, that morning after his older daughter discovered that Terrylynn’s children, ages 3 and 2, were found alone. “Never, never, never,” would she have left them alone, said Mr. St. John. The front door was open and her car was still in the driveway, he said.

A somber group of family and friends kept vigil at 15 Mill Wharf Road near Wake Post Office in Middlesex County. They had thought of possible suspects that knew her . . . but had not come up with anything, said Mr. St. John, who feared it was a random act of abduction.

Deputies and an investigator from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) stood watch. They had strung crime scene barrier across the driveway.  “I’m hanging around here, around the police, just trying to catch something, to get some good news,” said Mr. St. John.

Mr. St. John said he and others at the scene saw tracks in a field next to the house where they reasoned that someone could have parked, watched and waited for Terrilynn to get ready for work.

Mac Kennard, Terrilynn’s boyfriend, said he had kissed her goodbye at 4:20 a.m. and headed to work oystering. About 12 hours later, Kennard held a photo of her, his head bowed. He could not hold back tears. “She’s my best friend.”

Mr. St. John said he believes there was a struggle by her car, which was parked a few feet from the front door. Mr. St John’s older daughter had told him that near the car some jewelry and a shoe or slipper were found. Terrilynn’s cell phone was in the bushes.

“I’d love to go out and look for her, but where do you start,” said Mr. St. John.

Social media 

By afternoon, a plea for information was on social media at where Terrilynn is described as 5’6”, 130 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes. She has a R.J.M. tattoo on her right wrist, a princess crown tattoo on her left wrist, and a cross tattoo on her ring finger.

On Tuesday afternoon, two tracking dogs from the Gloucester Sheriff’s Office combed the area. An airplane and drone searched the area from above, said witnesses at the scene.

Major M.E. Sampson of the MSO said the Virginia State Police had been called to investigate the disappearance that he termed “suspicious.”

Anyone with any information should call the MSO 24-hour crime line at 804-758-5600.

Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staff
From the Rappahannock Record news team

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