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MARION — A 37-year-old Galax man has been indicted on two charges each of abduction and conspiracy in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a 19-year-old Marion man.
Michael Ray Brown Jr., of Spring Street in Galax, faces a week-long trial in Smyth County Circuit Court, starting Nov. 28, along with four other suspects.
Brown’s indictment is part of an investigation into the disappearance of Nathan Cord Combs on March 7.
His body was found March 12 in a national forest near Marion.
Witnesses reported to the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office that they thought that Combs and three other people were being held against their will for a time off Maywood Lane in Marion and that Combs hadn’t been seen since.
Smyth County deputies, Marion police and Virginia State Police troopers teamed up to search and found the body in the Comers Creek section of the county.
Brown and three other suspects — Daniel Brice Crouse, 36; Garrett Brice Crouse, 18; and Mindie Mae Davidson, 32; all of Sugar Grove — were already in custody by the time the body was found.
Ricky Joseph James, 24, of Marion, was charged after Combs’ body was discovered.
While Brown was originally charged with four counts each of abduction and conspiracy, the Smyth grand jury only certified two each of those charges.
An indictment is a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.
Daniel and Garrett Crouse were both charged with homicide, while all were charged with conspiracy and abduction.