Ex-boyfriend of missing Altria exec indicted on first degree murder charge

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County Police have arrested a man in connection with the murder an Altria executive who vanished three years ago.

Leyla Namiranian, 41, disappeared on April 4, 2012. She was last seen leaving her job at Altria on West Broad St. in Henrico County on April 4 around 6:30 p.m. She didn’t show up to work the next day and hasn’t been seen since.

After more than three years of investigating what was originally a missing persons case, police determined that Namiranian is deceased, although her remains were never found. The case is now classified as a death investigation, specifically a no-body homicide.

Police have obtained a first degree murder indictment for Namiranian’s ex-boyfriend, 54-year-old Michael Edwards of the 4000 block of North Avenue in Richmond. Edwards was arrested in Henrico on Thursday, Sept. 17, with the assistance of Henrico Police and the U.S. Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Unsealed search warrants contained information saying Namiranian was afraid of Edwards. She had told friends he choked her, according to the warrants.

Police said they found blood in the trunk of Edwards’ car. Authorities seized a list of items including duct tape, a bottle of 409 cleaner, Clorox and towels.

The documents also show Edwards made several inconsistent statements and admitted lying to investigators.

Two cell phones belonging to the missing woman were also recovered, according to police. Authorities have never said where the phones were discovered.

Edwards is currently being held at the Chesterfield County Jail without bond.

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