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Death of woman found at Marion fire determined to be homicide; person of interest arrested

Courtesy Marion Police Department
Courtesy Marion Police Department(Marion Police Department)
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 3:29 PM EDT
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MARION, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: Whittaker was arrested in Surry County, NC on charges not connected to the incident.

Marion Police say they are working with Smyth County detectives and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office on the case.

The US Federal Marshals and Virginia State Police are also assisting.

EARLIER STORY: Marion Police detectives are looking for a person of interest in a homicide.

A woman was found dead at the scene of a house fire Thursday morning, and the investigation indicates her death was a homicide, according to Marion Police, working with the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police.

The fire was in the 200 block of North Chestnut Street around 2:45 a.m. March 18, 2021; dispatch had originally recieved a call of shots fired, in addition to the fire.

The woman’s identity has not been confirmed.

Police are looking for Jason Emory Whittaker, whom they call a person of interest. Emory is white and 36 years old.

Police say Whittaker has an active felony warrant unrelated to this investigation, but is he being sought for questioning in this incident. A reward up to $2,500 is being offered for information that leads directly to his being caught. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center at (276) 783-7204.

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