Suspect in Rockbridge County incident pronounced dead

By  | 
View Map

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) - UPDATE: According to the Rockbridge County Sheriff's Office, the suspect in a manhunt Monday was pronounced dead around 9 p.m. Monday at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital.

The fugitive was identified as 38-year-old Alberto Jose Cornejo-Alvarez of Staunton.

Cornejo's body was taken to the Chief Medical Examiner's office in Roanoke for an autopsy. At this time, cause of death is believed to be hypothermia related.

A final determination will be made by the ME's office once it has completed its investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY:A fugitive is in a hospital after a two-hour standoff in Rockbridge County.

The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, crawled into a storm drain and eventually was rescued by deputies.

The parking lot of the Days Inn along North Lee Highway was crowded with deputy vehicles Monday afternoon.

The manhunt in Rockbridge County left many feeling uneasy.

The fugitive was armed with a gun and was somewhere in the Timber Ridge area, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

One of the nearby hotel managers says deputies blocked the road to her business, but never came up the hill to tell her what was going on.

"Yeah, it was just horrible to be standing here really in the dark not knowing, should I be letting the guests that are in the building aware not to go out," Howard Johnson Lexington Manager Candace Clarke said.

The Sheriff's Office had warned people to stay inside with their doors locked.

The fugitive had climbed down a storm drain and refused to leave the pipe.

After two hours sitting in cold water, Rockbridge County deputies went in to rescue him.

Clarke says although she is still a bit unsettled, she's happy the suspect is in custody.

"You feel like you can take a breath of air," Clarke said.

The suspect was taken to Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital to be treated.

The man had warrants from Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County, including felony distribution.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.