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Posted on: April 26, 2018

Suspect in 1988 Murder Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder; Robbery


April 26, 2018


Kraig Troxell, Media Relations and Communications Manager, 703-771-5278

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Alex Kowalski, Public Information Officer, 703-777-0625 

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Loudoun County, VA – A West Virginia man is facing life in prison after he was found guilty Thursday by a Loudoun County jury of first-degree murder in a nearly 30 year old homicide case. 

The victim, Henry E. Ryan, was last seen on September 30, 1988, leaving a roadside pull off along the Shenandoah River on Bloomery Road in West Virginia. According to witnesses, Ryan, who was known by his friends and family as Ricky, was last seen going on a beer run with Timothy W. Warnick. He never returned. Ricky’s body was found over six months later in a shallow grave off of Route 9 in Loudoun County. He was 29-years-old at the time of this death. 

The jury found Warnick, now 59-years-old, guilty of first-degree murder and robbery. The jury recommended a sentence of life plus five years. Warnick was remanded to the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center to await sentencing. The case received its break from continued interviews of family members, friends, and witnesses by detectives with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Cold Case Unit. Detectives established a timeline of events for the “person of interest”. The continuing investigation revealed information of Warnick’s involvement and actions leading up to Ricky’s death. Warnick was indicted by a Loudoun County Grand Jury back in June 2016. 

“Justice has finally been served due to the dedicated efforts of our detectives and the prosecutorial team involved in this case,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman after hearing today’s verdict. “Members of the Cold Case Unit continue to work to solve cases, such as Ricky’s, through advances in technology and investigative techniques.” 

Loudoun Sheriff Chapman implemented a cold case initiative upon taking office in January 2012 to take a closer look at unsolved cases the LCSO has investigated in past years. This initiative resulted in the formation of the Cold Case Unit in April, 2012 which allowed detectives to focus on death investigation cases that have grown cold over the years.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (WV), the Office of the Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney and the family of Henry “Ricky” Ryan for their support. 



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