Leonardtown, MD

2 men held in MD accused of murdering Westmoreland, VA school teacher

Watchful Eye

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Photo byWestmoreland County Sheriff's Office

Two men, currently in Maryland, have been accused of murdering a school teacher in Westmoreland, VA, and are awaiting extradition proceedings.

On Monday, November 28, after midnight, the Westmoreland Sheriff’s Office was notified of a fire at a residence in the Cabin Point subdivision, a statement from the department says.

Upon arrival the police and firefighters found the remains of a person who has been identified as Taylor A. Wood, a 5th grade school teacher at Washington District Elementary School. Three animals were also found inside the residence.

From the investigation, police determined Wood’s death to be a homicide. Westmoreland authorities have obtained 2nd degree murder, arson, and animal cruelty charges against Michael J. Gardiner, 35, of Montross and Demitri R. Gardiner, 28, of Leonardtown, MD.

Both men are currently in the custody of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland. Court records show that both have declined to waive extradition.

Meanwhile, in Westmoreland, the investigation continues.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information about the case to contact First Sergeant Brian Vanlandingham via email at bvanlandingham@westcoso.us or by calling (804) 493-8066. All information that’s provided is confidential and anonymous, Westmoreland Sheriff C.O. Balderson’s statement added.

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