NEW DETAILS: Suspect in Danielle Pruett murder arraigned

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11 a.m. Friday, April 1, 2016 UPDATE: 

Shaun Matthew Wakefield, who is accused of killing Danielle Pruett in Tazewell County, VA, was arraigned in Tazewell County General District Court.  At the Commonwealth Attorney, Michael Lee Dennis’ request, Wakefield is being held without bond.  A preliminary hearing in the case was set for Aug. 5, 2016 at 9 a.m.


2:15 p.m. Tuesday March 29, 2016 UPDATE:

The death of Danielle Pruett in Tazewell County has been determined to be a murder. In a joint news conference in Tazewell, Virginia, Sheriff Brian Hieatt announced that Shaun Matthew Wakefield, 32, of Tazewell is now charged with one count of First Degree Murder.  There could be more charges pending in the case.

“Danielle Pruett’s death is a horrible tragedy that has affected our entire County,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney, Michael Dennis. “It is my intention to prosecute Mr. Wakefield for this senseless crime to the fullest extent of the law.”

Wakefield was arrested previously on unrelated charges.  During the news conference officials announced that a preliminary autopsy showed Pruett’s death was caused by blunt force trauma.


11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 29, 2016 UPDATE:

The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office announced they will be hosting a news conference at 2 p.m. regarding the investigation into the death of Danielle Pruett.  She was reported missing on March 17 and her body was found near Bluefield, VA the next day.  Deputies have had multiple crews investigating Pruett’s death.


Tazewell County Deputies plan to search the area all week until more clues are found after a woman’s body was found on Friday March 18, 2016.  Danielle Pruett’s body was discovered right off of Route 720 near Bluefield in Tazewell County.
Deputies were on scene near East River Church in Tazewell County on Sunday searching for more evidence.  Sheriff Brian Hieatt said, “We aren’t going to stop until we find out all the details of this tragic death.”  Investigators said they have a suspect in custody on unrelated charges but are now linking the suspect to this case.  The name of the suspect has not been released.  Hieatt tells 59News the suspect has not officially been charged in this case.     


UPDATE: The body of 29-year-old Danielle Pruett was found on Friday March 18, 2016 on Route 720 near Bluefield.  According to Major Harold Heatley at the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and Bluefield Virginia Police along with Virginia State Police found evidence that led to the discovery of Pruett’s body.  Investigators and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office are investigating the cause of death.  Heatley said there’s no word at this time on what events led up to her body being placed in the woods.  Investigators said a suspect is currently at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Tazewell on unrelated charges.  A name isn’t being released at this time.  


A desperate search was underway in Tazewell County on Friday March 18, 2016.   Tazewell County Deputies and Bluefield Virginia Police Officers searched high and low for 29-year-old Danielle Pruett who was reported missing by her family on Thursday March 17, 2016. Deputies and k-9 units searched the Graham Recreational Park just off Governor G.C. Perry Highway in Bluefield, Virginia on Friday.  Helicopters were seen flying over the area in search for Pruett.  Pruett’s vehicle was found around 10 Friday morning in that area.  Her vehicle is a blue sedan.  59News spoke to Pruett’s twin sister Nikki Garnett on the phone.  Garnett was praying for her sister’s safe return. Garnett said she was last seen wearing gray sweats and a gray and black striped shirt.  She was reportedly wearing glasses and her hair was in a bun.  Investigators say the circumstances of the case make them believe Pruett may be in danger.   Deputies are asking for anyone with information on where Pruett is to call 911.


Tazewell Sheriff’s Deputies and Bluefield ,Virginia  Police are searching for missing a missing woman.

Danielle Pruett was reported missing on Thursday, March 17, 2016. Deputies said, her car was found near Graham Recreational Park  in Bluefield, Virginia Friday morning.

Very little information has been released at this time.

Stay with 59News as this story develops.

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