UPDATE: Georgia authorities take person of interest from Clifton Forge homicide into custody, sheriff confirms

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UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: Officials from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office say they were notified that a suspect in a Virginia homicide was potentially heading into the county on Tuesday morning.

According to the sheriff’s office, at approximately 11:26 a.m., an investigator noticed a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle authorities believed Staples was driving. With assistance from LaGrange police officers, Troup County authorities initiated a traffic stop in the 400 block of New Franklin, took Staples into custody, and transported him to the Troup County jail.

The Clifton Forge Police Department says the Georgia authorities arrested Staples on a grand larceny charge and that he will be held while awaiting extradition and questioning by local law enforcement.

UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: The Troup County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia has confirmed they have Kenneth Staples in custody.

UPDATE 10:28 a.m.: The Clifton Forge Police Department confirmed on Tuesday, April 28 the victim in the Jefferson Avenue suspicious death investigation is 41-year-old William Brandon Wright, a Clifton Forge resident.

CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (WFXR) — After finding a body inside a Clifton Forge home Monday afternoon, authorities are on the lookout for a Georgia man who was identified as a “person of interest” in the suspicious death investigation.

(Photo: Courtesy Virginia State Police)
(Photo: Courtesy Virginia State Police)

According to the Clifton Forge Police Department, at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 27, officers were dispatched to 907 Jefferson Avenue for a well-being check and looked through the window to see a man lying on the floor. After making forcible entry into the residence, police say they determined the man — who was unresponsive with apparent head trauma — was already dead, after which department officials requested assistance from the Salem Division of the Virginia State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

WFXR News first reported the presence of Virginia state troopers, Alleghany County deputies, and Clifton Force police officers at the scene of a homicide at 8:22 p.m. on Monday.

During a news conference from authorities in Clifton Force regarding the suspicious death investigation, police identified Brandon Wright as the victim and 41-year-old Kenneth Staples of Lagrange, Georgia as a “person of interest.”

Police have yet to uncover a reason for Staples to be in Clifton Forge or a connection between Wright and Staples. However, authorities say Staples is a person of interest in the suspicious death investigation because he took off in the victim’s vehicle.

Authorities say they believe Staples is driving a 2015 white Ford F-150 Crew Cab with Alabama tags 43KM137, which has since been reported as stolen and resulted in an active warrant against Staples for grand larceny.

According to police, Staples was last seen at a South Carolina gas station around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, where he borrowed someone’s phone in order to make a call and request gas money to get back to Georgia, where authorities are already on the lookout for Staples.

Officials believe this was an isolated incident and, since Staples already left the state, they believe there is no perceivable threat to the Clifton Forge community at this time.

If you have any information about this incident, call the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 965-1770, ext. 1, and ask to speak with Investigator Ledford with the Clifton Forge Police Department.

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