Blue Ridge man charged with murder of 5-year-old in Botetourt

A 33-year-old Blue Ridge man has been charged with the murder of a 5-year-old boy last summer.

911 call

On August 2, 2023, shortly after 10 p.m., Botetourt Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting an unresponsive child. Deputies and emergency medical personnel responded to the scene in the 2900 block of Blue Ridge Springs Rd. and found there was a young boy who was indeed unresponsive.

The Sheriff’s Office said the Dept. of Fire and EMS transported the boy to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Death & charges

In less than two days, on August 4, the child was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide, Botetourt Sheriff’s Office reported.

On March 4, 2024, detectives in Botetourt presented their case to the grand jury, which indicted Zachary Alan Bishop on charges of child endangerment and murder.

Mother’s boyfriend

The deceased child’s name was Jackson, according to WDBJ 7. His mother reportedly left her husband behind, came to Virginia in 2020, and Bishop was her boyfriend.

WDBJ also reported that Bishop told officials that, while he was taking care of Jackson, the child fell multiple times and started complaining of having a headache. But doctors reportedly told officials what they found were not slip-and-fall injuries, and there were signs of possible strangulation.


After being indicted, Bishop was initially held in Botetourt-Craig Regional Jail without bond. But he was granted bond yesterday, March 26. His next scheduled court date is June 3.

Botetourt Sheriff’s Office said its investigation is still ongoing. Investigators continue to interview witnesses, review physical and electronic evidence, and examine forensic evidence.

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