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Who is Dustin Barret Owens? Virginia corrections officer fatally shoots pregnant GF and unborn child

Police say the mother-to-be was shot several times and Dustin is currently charged for first-degree murder
Dustin Barret Owens (L) killed his girlfriend, Amber Dawn Compton (R) (Southwest Virginia Regional Jail, Honaker Funeral Home)
Dustin Barret Owens (L) killed his girlfriend, Amber Dawn Compton (R) (Southwest Virginia Regional Jail, Honaker Funeral Home)

Warning: This content contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion is advised.

BUCHANAN COUNTY, VIRGINIA: Dustin Barret Owens, a Virginia corrections officer, gunned down his girlfriend Amber Dawn Compton, who was 7 months pregnant with their child. Dustin was arrested on Sunday, October 23. Compton was a mother of three children from another man, and she was found dead inside her own home in 1200 block of Sunset Hollow Road, on Saturday, October 22. 

“We are still trying to establish a timeline of her movements and what she had done in the past few days prior to the discovery of her body,” Buchanan County Chief Deputy Sheriff Eric Breeding told People. Meanwhile, according to Law and Crime, the police responded to a 911 call on October 22, regarding a possible missing female. Later, the first responders located the body of a deceased adult at her own home. 


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According to an official statement, “The body was found with multiple gunshot wounds," reports New York Post. Dustin was charged with first-degree murder and is held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority Haysi facility. However, there are chances for additional charges as well. “During the course of the death investigation, statements and evidence were received that lead Investigators to apply to the magistrate and receive a warrant for first-degree murder on Dustin Barret Owens, 38 years old, of Vansant, VA, Owens is known to be the boyfriend of the victim," the sheriff’s office said. The investigation team located Owens at his home on Deer Trail Drive in Vansant.

After the police confirmed he was present at his home, they obtained a search warrant and searched for him, and he was immediately arrested. Breeding added, "We feel like we do have a motive that would be fairly easily proven." Police also confirmed both Owens and Compton were employees of the Virginia Department of Corrections at the Keen Mountain facility, reports WYMT. As per Law and Crime, the Keen Mountain Correctional Center is a Level 4 maximum security correctional facility that houses up to 880 adult male offenders.

Meanwhile, Rachel Compton, the victim's mother, said to News Channel 11, "She was a wonderful, wonderful mother. A wonderful daughter. Everything that she always did (was) done (for) the benefit of her children.” She also indicated concerns about her daughter's relationship with Dustin. She said, “I was in fear,” she said. “He was safe, he was a good guy because how could they let him work here if he wasn’t?”

Further, she said, “She went through RN school – she was a nurse. She went through nursing school while she was pregnant. She fought through for the benefit of her children.” However, according to an obituary written on the wall of Honaker Funeral Home, it is stated, "She had earned her Associate's Degree in Nursing at Southwest Virginia Community College and was currently employed by the Virginia Department of Corrections as a Registered Nurse." As per the obituary, the funeral is said to have taken place at 11 am on Thursday, October 28. The preliminary hearing of the case will happen on January 12, 2023.