Bent Mountain Community in shock over triple homicide

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) - UPDATE: 8:45 p.m.

Roanoke County Police have made an arrest in connection with the triple homicide. Trevor E. Charles, 18, of Roanoke, has been arrested and charged with three counts of first degree murder and three counts of use of firearm in the commission of a felony. Charles has been booked into the Roanoke County/ Salem Jail.

Police also identified the victims as Miranda B. Trump, 18, Roanoke; Brandon D. Dekle, 20, Bent Mountain; and Cole P. Kennedy, 21, Bent Mountain.

Dekle's uncle told WDBJ7 his nephew was the manager at Bent Mountain Bistro. He said in a text that his nephew would give the shirt off his back to someone in need. Dekle leaves behind two younger sisters and a younger brother.

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The Bent Mountain Community is small and tightly knit. That's why folks who live up there say the news of a triple homicide is hitting them so hard.

Many people in the community will tell you that, "everyone knows everyone" here.

"Shock" was the word heard over and over again Tuesday while police investigated the deaths of two men and one woman along Bent Mountain Road, all three with gunshot wounds.

But because this community is tight, they say they also have shoulders to lean on in the healing process.

"Hanging in there," said Rebecca Scott, in response to a friend.

Working the polls, she said, is the only thing keeping her going after learning three people she knows are likely the victims in this triple homicide.

While police have not released their identities, Scott and many others on the mountain say they believe they know who the victims are.

"To lose, just to lose one is terrible but to lose three," Scott said, becoming emotional, "it's really hard."

With locals telling us they believe they work at Bent Mountain Bistro - which was closed Tuesday.

The restaurant's marketing manager said he was waiting to hear if any of his employees were indeed among the victims.

One man who sells produce on the mountain said word of the deaths traveled quickly Tuesday morning.

"I pray for their families left behind," Barry Cooper said. "Its just a sad situation."

He said they never expect something like this to happen up here.

"Its a small taste of heaven sweetheart, the people are good," Cooper said. "I don't even lock my doors."

And it's because the people are good, they say they'll help each other through a bad situation.

"Its good because everybody's going to be there for everybody else," Scott said. "But it's gonna be a while."