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Rockingham County Woman Dies Following Assault

Posted: Updated:
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A woman found brutally beaten at a home in Rockingham County on September 28 has died from her injuries.

The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday, October 3, that 64-year-old Margene Caplinger passed away at the University of Virginia Medical Center on Monday.

Authorities have arrested and charged 27-year-old Brent Smallwood of Elkton and 20-year-old Adrian Custer of Harrisonburg. They believe the two men, and a possible third suspect, are connected to the assault.

The Sheriff's Office said it responded to a reported breaking and entering and assault at an apartment on Trinity Church Road around 8 a.m. last Thursday.

Caplinger was transported to the UVA Medical Center in a medical helicopter, and had been labeled in critical condition.

The U.S. Marshals arrested Smallwood and Custer without incident on Friday, September 29, though details about where they were apprehended have not been released.

Smallwood is charged with attempted murder, aggravated malicious wounding, abduction by force, and conspiracy to commit abduction.

Custer is charged with principal in second degree for malicious wounding, principal in second degree to attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit abduction.

The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office said it is working with Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst, who will determine what additional charges need to be filed or amended in this investigation.

Smallwood and Custer are being held at Rockingham/Harrisonburg Regional Jail.

10/03/2017 Updated Press Release from the Rockingham County Office of the Sheriff:

The victim on Trinity Church Road in Rockingham County passed away last evening at UVA hospital as a result of the injuries she sustained in the attack on September 28th. (a press release was sent out on that date)

Victim = Margene Caplinger, a 64-year-old female of Rockingham.

Our office is continuing to work closely with Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst, who will determine what additional charges need to be filed or amended in this investigation.

The investigation is still ongoing and there is no additional information that we are able to release at this time.