Investigators Identify Victim in Madison Heights Suspicious Death

Update: Saturday 11:30 p.m.

Madison Heights, VA- The Amherst County Sheriff's office has identified the woman found dead Friday in a Madison Heights motel.

Officials say 41-year-old Arnita Michelle Cheatham of Appomattox was found by employees of the Executive Inn. Investigators say she died from blunt force injuries to her head.

We're told Cheatham was reported missing on July 31st from the Town of Appomattox. Her 2006 silver Hyundai four-door sedan is also missing.

Investigators are trying to find Cheatham's husband, 49-year-old Sylvester Mathew Cheatham.

If you have any information on his whereabouts or Ms. Cheatham's death, call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-888-798-5900.


Madison Heights, VA - The crime scene was still fresh Friday night in Madison Heights. Amherst County Sheriff's Deputies are still trying to determine how a woman may have been killed at the Executive Inn motel.

The body that was discovered there was taken to the medical examiner in Roanoke. They will make the ultimate determination of how this woman died. But so many signs, deputies say point to a suspicious scene, one where the clues don't quite add up.

By all accounts, the Executive Inn looks like a quaint and quiet motel. But Friday, it was transformed by a frenzy of crime scene investigators.

"There is a body in the room. There are indications on the body that lead us to the direction that yes, it is a suspicious death. It is a female" said Amherst County Sheriff, Jimmy Ayers.

Investigators found the body in a room in the rear of the motel. The owner of the Executive Inn confirmed for ABC 13, the person that had checked into the room initially was a man.

But the body that was discovered inside the motel room by deputies is that of a woman.

"We're trying to sort out who had rented the room and all of that. So right now everything is very preliminary" said Ayers.

It was the motel manager that called 911 after the room's occupant failed to check out.

Soon after, investigators suited up and began looking for clues; deputies scoured the scene. Also, critical surveillance video from the motel, deputies say a tool in shedding some light on how this woman may have been killed.

The sheriff said no weapon or drugs had yet been discovered inside the room. He also said the woman, is likely a resident of central Virginia.