Police Identify Dead Man, 57

Found Under Suspicious Circumstances

Posted: November 6, 2012

HARRISONBURG — Police on Monday identified the man found dead under suspicious circumstances at a Harrisonburg apartment last week.

The body of Thaxton Keith Simms, 57, was discovered Thursday in his residence in the Dutch Mill Apartments complex, located off Reservoir Street just east of Cantrell Avenue, according to a news release.

Police did not release any further information about the case Monday, including whether it’s been ruled a homicide and what the cause of death may have been.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is working to determine how Simms died, and investigators are following up on information obtained so far, the release says.

Officers were called to Simms’ apartment about 8:30 a.m. Thursday after his body was discovered.

The door to his apartment was open at the time of the discovery.

More than two dozen officers with the Harrisonburg Police Department responded to the scene, including most of its investigators.

Police K-9s searched the complex and a nearby creek for evidence, and officers in protective suits combed through a trash bin.

Later in the day Thursday, an evidence vehicle from Virginia State Police Criminal Investigations Division arrived at the scene, and officers went door to door in the complex talking to residents.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Solvers at 574-5050. Tipsters can also text information to police by sending a message with HPD and the tip to 274637 (CRIMES).

Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or jhunt@dnronline.com