A 38-year-old Virginia man was arrested over the weekend for allegedly killing his 35-year-old girlfriend — a woman who was also pregnant with his child. Dustin Barret Owens was taken into custody early Sunday morning and charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of 35-year-old Amber Dawn Compton, authorities announced.
According to a press release from the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), deputies at approximately 9:50 p.m. on Oct. 22 responded to a 911 call regarding a possible missing female. A short while later, first responders located the body of a deceased adult female inside of her residence located in the 1200 block of Sunset Hollow Road.
Detectives with the sheriff’s office and crime scene technicians with the Virginia State Police (VSP) Bureau of Criminal Investigation were then dispatched to the residence. Authorities obtained and executed a search warrant on the residence where they found the body, later identified as Compton.
“The body was found with multiple gunshot wounds,” the release states. “A forensic investigation occurred at the residence and evidence was taken.”
According to authorities, Compton, of Vansant, Virginia, was seven months pregnant at the time of her death.
“During the course of death investigation, statements and evidence was received that lead Investigators to apply to the magistrate and receive a warrant for first-degree murder on Dustin Barret Owens, 38 years old, of Vansant VA,” the sheriff’s office said. “Owens is known to be the boyfriend of the victim.
Investigators say they located Owens at his home located on Deer Trail Drive in Vansant. Deputies responded to the address and surrounded the home. After confirming that Owens was inside of the residence, authorities obtained a search warrant for the home and went in. Owens was taken into custody by the BCSO’s Special Response Team without incident, according to the release.
Investigators conducted a forensic sweep of the residence; several items were placed into evidence.
Owens is being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority’s Haysi facility.
During a press conference on the murder, Buchanan County Chief Deputy Eric S. Breeding said that both Owens and Compton were employees at the Virginia Department of Corrections Keen Mountain Facility in Oakwood, according to a report from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The Keen Mountain Correctional Center is a Level 4 maximum security correctional facility that houses up to 880 adult male offenders.
The sheriff’s office said that investigators are still working on piecing together when Owens allegedly shot Compton to death.
“We’re still working on the timeline and at this time, I’m not going to release how long we think she might have been there, but we’re still working the timeline as to her events and days before that,” Sheriff Breeding reportedly told Bluefield, West Virginia NBC affiliate WVVA.
Authorities say that as the investigation unfolds, more charges are expected to be brought against Owens.
[image via Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office]
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