ROCKBRIDGE CO., Va. – Virginia State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, is investigating the circumstances involving human remains which were discovered March 22, 2023, on Hopper’s Creek Road in Rockbridge County.
The remains were found by two Rockbridge residents while engaged in recreation in the National Forest. Virginia State Police and the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and found remains of an unresponsive female, laying over the hillside off the roadway. Special Agents with the Bureau of Criminal investigation, Salem Division were called to respond to the scene.
The remains were identified as Stormie Markland, 38, of Rockbridge, Va. Ms. Markland had been reported missing/endangered on March 20, 2023, by family members. The investigation found Ms. Markland had died under violent circumstances. The remains have been sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Western District to determine the cause of death.
During the process of the investigation, Special Agents identified Leland David Johnson, 44, of Lexington Va. as a possible suspect. Johnson was located at a family member’s residence and was questioned by Special Agents. After consultation with the Rockbridge County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Johnson was arrested on one count of Murder in the Second Degree. Johnson is housed at the Rockbridge County Jail, where he remains without bond.
The incident remains under investigation.