Elderly Man Found Dead in Nelson County

Roseland, VA - We're learning more about the death of an elderly man in Nelson County.

A neighbor found Samuel Gaines, 74, dead in his driveway Wednesday with an apparent wound to his head. His wallet was missing.

Family members say Gaines was a man who would help anyone. His family says many people would come to his house, at the end of Gaines Hill Road, to borrow money. They think this may have been one of those times, but it turned violent.

"The deputy said 'What are you doing here?' And I said, 'That's my Daddy'. And then I just saw him laying on the ground over there," said Bruce Johnson, Gaines's son.

It was around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning when Samuel Gaines's neighbor came over to do the usual, check on him and his brother who lives beside him.

"That's when he found Sam laying in the driveway," said Buddy Gaines who was Sam's first cousin.

The neighbor then called police. He did not want to talk on camera, but Buddy Gaines said he told him when he called 911, the nurse told him to check the pulse, but there was not one.

The Gaines family grew up on Gaines Hill and say they never have had a problem until now.

Gaines's son Bruce came every Wednesday to check on his Dad and take him to the store. This week, he was alarmed at what he saw.

"He was laying on the ground over there with his head caved in," said Johnson.

Johnson said the area around the house was surrounded by police tape and officers were investigating.

"I didn't know what happened when I seen him on the ground, it kinda shocked me a little bit. I didn't know what was going on," said Johnson.

The family thinks someone robbed and killed their father.

"I seen the spots of blood and stuff like that. They say that the side of his head was smashed in," said Julian Gaines, another one of Samuel Gaines's sons.

They think it could have been someone their father knew well.

"His wallet was gone and they just left him there," said Gaines.

They say he got his social security check on the third of every month, a fact some in the community knew well.

"You got a lot of people around here that's not working, you know. They'd do any and everything to try to get money," said Gaines.

"They found his cell phone over here and he was laying on the ground, so I don't know what happened," said Johnson.

Messages were left with Nelson County Investigators, but we have not heard back .

Crews took Gaines's body to Richmond for an autopsy and are waiting to confirm the cause of death.