According to the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office, 48-year-old Sarah Greenhalgh was found dead in a bedroom in her home.
According to reports, an off-duty fire fighter noticed smoke coming from Greenhalgh's cottage on Dunvegan Drive in Upperville around eight Monday morning. An autopsy is being performed on her body in Manassas. Officials are investigating her death as a murder. The cause of the fire and her death is still under investigation.
Sarah Greenhalgh's landlord, Ann Macleod, says her son called to tell her that she needed to get down to the cottage because it was burning.
"So I run down the road and I see all the fire trucks and all the police and everything and I immediately asked if there was anybody in the cottage," Macleod said. "They would tell me so I ran back up here and called on her cell."
Maclend says she was sitting on her front porch with some of Sarah's family members when officers told them that they suspected murder and arson.
"She was a nice, nice little girl," Macleod said. "A good writer too."
For more than 20 years, Sarah did freelance work for the Chronicle of the Horse. For those who knew her, they say you could sense her passion through her writing.
"She just always had good information," Chronicle of the Horse editor Beth Rasin said. "She brought a lot of energy to it. She had the details that let me know she really knew the sport and she knew the people and the horses. She followed them all so closely. She could tell you right off the top of her head about what this horse had won."
Friends and family say that she was a great person to be around and a great journalist.
"She was always a really vibrant happy positive person she was super super nice," said Rasin. "Fun person to be around."
Rasin says Sarah has written more than 5,000 stories for them.
"Over the last few years, especially she's covered almost a 100% of our racing," Rasin said. "So some weekends she would have two or three stories for us."
Sarah wrote multiple stories and took photographs from Africa and she reported on September 11th from the Pentagon for the for the Fauquier Times-Democrat.
"We just really enjoyed working with her. She was a great person. She was a lot of fun and we're really going to miss her," said Rasin.
Lieutenant James Hartman says there are still many unanswered questions.
"At this point we have several people of interest that we are talking to and the investigation is on going so that may change later on down the line," Hartman said. "Detectives are talking to a lot of her friends and co-workers and she was very active on Facebook. There's nothing further I can say at this point. I don't want to jeopardize the ongoing investigation."
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