WOODSTOCK – Court documents revealed more details of a homicide investigation into the Saturday death of an Edinburg woman.
David Brian Knott, 55, of Edinburg, remains held without bond at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail. He is charged with second-degree murder.
Authorities accuse Knott of killing Cynthia Dellinger, who was found stabbed and lying unconscious on her Shenandoah County property.
Knott appeared in Shenandoah County General District Court on Monday where a judge appointed the public defender’s office to represent the defendant. The judge scheduled Knott’s preliminary hearing for March 18.
Documents filed in Shenandoah County General District Court and Circuit Court reveal details of the searches and interviews authorities conducted during the investigation.
State police special agent Heather Marshall recovered a butcher knife, a pocketknife and an earring, according to the inventory of the search warrant executed at 34 Dellinger Acres Road. Marshall also collected hair fibers and multiple swabs of a red stain.
Special agent D. Jeffrey Rose submitted an affidavit for the search warrant filed in Circuit Court Monday. Rose states in the affidavit that Nancy Whittington went to a residence at 34 Dellinger Acres Road, Edinburg, and found Dellinger, 63, lying unresponsive on the concrete driveway.
Wesley Dellinger and Jonathan Heishman, both with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, arrived a short time later and found Cynthia Dellinger unresponsive and the presence of blood, the affidavit states. They performed CPR until emergency medical technicians arrived. Heishman noticed a deep cut to her neck inconsistent with a fall and a cut to her face, the affidavit states.
An affidavit for a search warrant states: “Whittington drove to a nearby residence and spoke with Rhonda Dellinger, who called her husband, Wesley Dellinger, and told him to come home.”
A criminal complaint filed with an arrest warrant for Knott states that Whittington “got in her vehicle and drove down the driveway, sounding her horn. Wesley Dellinger ... heard the horn and was told by Whittington that something had happened to his mother.
Responders took Cynthia Dellinger to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to several court documents.
“Virginia State Police Special Agent Kevin Newland responded to the hospital and observed approximately 10 lacerations to her body, to include the torso, arms and hands inconsistent with a fall,” the affidavit states.
Another document filed in the court with the search warrant states that Cynthia Dellinger was found unresponsive on the concrete driveway near the right front corner of her white Chevrolet Tahoe. Cynthia Dellinger had a cut to her neck and face under her eye, the document states. Brownish red liquid was observed on her body, on the concrete driveway and garage door, according to the document.
Heishman directed Deputy Houston Toman III to a Chevrolet Tahoe with the driver’s door open and parked within view of the scene where medical workers were providing aid to Cynthia Dellinger, the document states. Knott sat in a gray-silver Chevrolet parked in front of a Ford F-150 pickup driven by the suspect when he met with Wesley Dellinger.
Toman approached the Chevrolet and found Knott, identified as a farmhand for the family, seated in the driver’s seat wearing gloves, the document states. Toman detained Knott and placed him in handcuffs for safety purposes. Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Kolter Stroop placed a paper bag over Knott’s gloved, handcuffed hands to preserve any potential evidence, the document states.
Toman took Knott to the Sheriff’s Office criminal investigation division in Woodstock where Woodstock Police Department Investigator Travis Pence removed a wallet with a brownish-red stain from Knott, along with two sets of keys, loose change, a napkin and a cell phone.
Officer Matt Rhodes observed Knott when the suspect said he met Wesley Dellinger on the roadway and did not want Wesley Dellinger upset with him for driving Noah Dellinger’s truck, so Knott said he drove the truck to 34 Dellinger Acres Road, the document states. Knott told Rhodes he cut his hand while sharpening a chainsaw.
Investigators found the butcher knife on the driver’s side floorboard of the pickup.
Under questioning by state police special agents Richard Hankins anbd Kevin Newland, Knott denied seeing Cynthia Dellinger on Saturday. Knott, while seated in the Chevrolet, told a deputy who approached him about a woman in cardiac arrest. Knott at first denied that he changed clothes but, when confronted with information that contradicted his statement, he admitted that he changed his blue jeans and jacket and placed them in the back of the Chevrolet, the document states.
A criminal complaint signed by Rose and filed with charging documents in Shenandoah County General District Court provides more details about the case. The complaint also appears to contain a discrepancy with the narrative provided in Rose’s search warrant affidavit.
Rose states in the complaint that Cynthia Dellinger was at the Woodstock Walmart at approximately 12:40 p.m. Saturday. Whittington arrived at Cynthia Dellinger’s home sometime after 2 p.m. Saturday and found the victim lying unconscious in the driveway.
“She (Nancy Whittington) got in her vehicle and drove down the driveway, sounding her horn,” the complaint states. “Wesley Dellinger, Cynthia’s son, who lives at the end of the driveway, heard the horn and was told by Whittington that something had happened to his mother.
“Wesley Dellinger called 911 and then drove his patrol vehicle up the driveway to where Cynthia was located,” the complaint adds. “He began CPR and Deputy Jonathan Heishman arrived on the scene and assisted with CPR.”
Toman arrived and Heishmen told the deputy to “keep an eye on a white male seated in a silver to gray Chevrolet Tahoe within sight of where they were administering CPR,” the complaint states. Authorities later identified the man as Knott.
Rose states in the complaint that Knott said during questioning by state police that he left the residence to get a pizza. Knott said he met Wesley Dellinger along the roadway who indicated with hand motions that he needed to slow down. Knott said he realized he had no money, turned around and drove back to the residence, the complaint states. Knott said he met Whittington coming down the roadway and she said something was wrong with Cynthia Dellinger so Knott said he told Whittington to call 911, according to the complaint.
Knott drove to the top of the driveway and went to cover some saws without checking on Cynthia Dellinger or looking for money or debit card, which he kept in the Tahoe, the complaint states.
Knott had a cut on his right hand he said happened while sharpening a chainsaw before he left to get a pizza. Investigators collected swabs from brownish red stains found on Knott’s right, small finger and his left knee, according to the complaint.
“The clothes he was wearing when detained and searched contained no brownish red stains,” the complaint states.
Knott admitted to having a folded knife in the Tahoe that he usually carries for work, according to the complaint. Knott stated he did not know who owned the butcher knife found in the pickup.
A separate affidavit filed in the case states that investigators found no suspected blood stains on the clothing Knott wore or collected during the search.
On Sunday, state police special agent Jason Street obtained surveillance camera video footage from Larkin’s Grocery, 19008 Senedo Road, Edinburg, where Knott and Wesley Dellinger had stopped earlier on Saturday to put fuel in a combine, the affidavit states. Wesley Dellinger operated the combine and Knott drove the pickup. Video footage showed Knott wearing blue jeans, a brown canvass-type jacket, a black toboggan and dark boots.
“Given the violent nature of the assault and resulting homicide, it is reasonable to believe that blood, bodily fluids, and hair would have been transferred from the victim to the offender’s clothing,” the affidavit states. “It is also reasonable that the offender would have sought to hide or destroy any evidence on his/her clothing, as well as the instrument used to inflict the wounds. At this point, neither the offender’s clothing nor the weapon used has been located.”
Authorities searched property at 223 Dellinger Acres Road and 34 Dellinger Acres Road. They also searched Knott for DNA and possessions, including a cell phone, at the Sheriff’s Office. An inventory of items, filed in the Circuit Court Tuesday and recovered from Knott on Saturday, includes a stocking cap or toboggan; swabs of red stains from both hands; latex gloves from both hands; a swab of his mouth; yellow gloves from both hands; a napkin; coins; notebook paper; keys; a cell phone; a wallet and contents; and paper bags covering hands, boots, jeans, a sweatshirt, underwear and a T-shirt.