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Over decade later, Florida man arrested in Virginia Beach slaying

Case had gone cold until recently

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida man has been arrested on a first-degree murder charge 14 years after two people and two dogs were shot in Virginia Beach, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said Christopher Schmidt, 46, was arrested Monday at his home on Nardello Drive in Deltona on a first-degree murder charge.

[READ: This serial murder case has been cold for more than 40 years. Now police say they have a suspect]

Officials from the Virginia Beach Police Department said the arrest stems from a 2004 double fatal shooting.

Neighbors on Nardello Drive say they can't believe it. 

"I really just can't believe it," said one neighbor. "He was so nice like a quick to smile guy, laughed at everything, completely shocked."

On June 28, 2004, officers were called to Newcombe Road in Virginia Beach and found Lois Schmidt, 29, and Jonathan Vetrano, 7, both suffering from gunshot wounds inside a home that was on fire, according to a news release.

[RELATED: Suspect in 1986 Polk County cold case murder dies before arrest]

Both victims died from their injuries, as did one of two dogs that had been shot at the home, the report said.

The neighbor tells News 6 she came outside to find deputies blocking off the area and saw Schmidt on the ground.

"We just heard a big commotion and we looked out the window and saw a bunch of blue flashing lights," she said. "There was 10 cops around him with guns drawn."

Authorities said the case went cold until recently, when new information was uncovered.

Along with Schmidt, Richard Stoner, 43, of Logansport, Indiana, was also arrested on Saturday on two counts of first-degree murder, police said. Additional charges are possible.

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Both men are awaiting extradition proceedings.

Authorities have not released information detailing why they believe Schmidt and Stoner are connected to the crime.


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