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UPDATE: Investigators say the body found alongside State Route 116 last week in Franklin County is that of a murder victim last seen alive in Roanoke earlier this month. Officials say 30-year-old Travis Pannell of Halifax died from gunshot wounds. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says Pannell had been missing for close to three weeks when his body was discovered last Thursday.

NEWS RELEASE: The body that was found near Jubal Early Hwy. in Franklin County on 10/24/19 has been identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as 30-year-old Travis Wayne Pannell. Mr. Pannell is from Halifax, VA and was reported missing in Roanoke, VA on October 8, 2019. Pannell was last seen in Roanoke on October 4, 2019. The Medical Examiner’s Office has determined the cause of death to be homicide and the manner of death to be gunshot wounds. Based on the preliminary investigation, the Sheriff’s Office does not believe that the residents in and around where the body was located are in any danger. This is an ongoing investigation and additional information will be provided as it becomes available. Anyone with information related to the homicide of Travis Pannell is encouraged to contact Sgt. Nolen at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 540-483-6662.

OCTOBER 24: The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the discovery of a body today along State Route 116 near Coopers Cove Road in the Windy Gap area of the county. So far, there is no word on the cause of death, but officials say there is no indication that the public is in any danger. The investigation forced the closure of 116 in that area, and detours were put into place in both directions.

NEWS RELEASE: On October 24, 2019 at approximately 1:30 PM, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications center received a 9-1-1 call in reference to a body found off the side of the road in the 7900 block of Jubal Early Highway. Investigators from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office are on scene investigating. There is no indication that the public is in any danger. It is very early in the investigation and the cause of death has not been determined. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.