Deadly Intruders

It’s a cold, rainy April afternoon in 2003 when Carlo Bertelli stops by his rural Fauquier County, VA home to pick up his 20-year-old stepson Bryan Mace. They work together at a roofing company and, even though Bryan has the day off, Carlo needs his help on a job. He’s tried a couple of times to reach Bryan on his cell, but there’s been no answer, and when he tries his key in the garage door into the house, it doesn’t work. When Carlo finally gets into the house, through another door, he’s engulfed in a wave of thick black smoke. Believing Bryan must be trapped inside, Carlo rushes in to find him, and stumbles over his body near the first door he tried to enter. Assuming Bryan has been overcome by smoke while trying to escape, Carlo pulls him out into the garage only to realize he has been shot in the head. Carlo’s extensive gun collection has been stolen along with a few other household items, and the house has been ransacked. Investigators surmise that Bryan, returning from a local video store, surprised the robbers in the act, and they killed him and set the fire to destroy any evidence. Eighteen years later, nobody has been arrested for the crimes nor have any of the firearms taken from the home been recovered. Was the robbery committed by someone the family knew? Did the burglars target the home knowing Carlo kept a large collection of guns, or was it a random act of theft and violence committed by complete strangers? Bryan’s family waits for answers that have been a long time coming.

If you have any information about the murder of Bryan Mace, please go to, or call the Fauquier County sheriff’s office at 540-422-8650.

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