Fairfax County Police are seeking the man they believe purchased the alcohol that contributed to the death of 16-year-old Lauren Sausville of Fairfax. Police have obtained three warrants for Landon C. Cousins, 27, whose last known address was on Wolf Run Shoals Road in Clifton.
Lauren, then a junior at Fairfax High School, died on Dec. 3, 2004, when the SUV she was driving rolled and hit an embankment on Colchester Road near its intersection with Fairfax Station Road in Fairfax Station. Lauren was with friends, drinking alcohol prior to the crash.
Beer was found in the vehicle at the time, and preliminary reports indicated that Lauren had been under the influence of alcohol. The medical examiner confirmed these reports and determined that she had a blood alcohol count of .13, said Capt. Jesse Bowman of the Fairfax County Police. The legal limit for people 21 and older in Virginia is .08.
Another minor was driving a different vehicle at the time of the accident. He has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
Bowman did not wish to absolve Lauren of responsibility in her death. “The decision to consume was, in fact, Lauren’s. The decision to drive was also Lauren’s,” Bowman said.
Police believe, however, that Cousins provided the alcohol to Lauren. He has been charged with one count of purchasing alcohol for a person under 21 and with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. All three are misdemeanors, and each carries a maximum penalty fines and up to one year in jail.
Del. Dave Albo (R-42nd) is sponsoring a bill in the General Assembly that would add to those penalties a one year suspension of the drivers license of anyone who purchases alcohol for a minor.
House Bill 2791 passed the House of Delegates on a 87-10 vote and will now move to the Senate. The bill would not affect the disposition of Cousin's charges.
The two cases of beer that have been connected to the investigation were purchased at a store in Fairfax County, but police would not disclose which store and do not anticipate charging anyone at the store, Bowman said.
Bowman would not disclose details of the investigation.
Police obtained the warrants on Jan. 27 but have not been able to locate Cousins. Bowman hopes that he will turn himself in. The officer noted that anyone who knows that there are warrants outstanding and provides shelter to Cousins may be subject to charges.
Anyone with information on Cousins’ whereabouts is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131 or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477.