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Police log

July 31, 1998

Fatal I-81 accident still being studied

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police troopers on Thursday had not yet determined why an Inwood, W.Va., man was on Interstate 81 before he was killed when he moved into the path of a car Tuesday night.

Zachary Zirk, 29, died after he collided with a car on I-81 in the northbound lanes between Exit 16 east and Exit 16 west, police said.

Trooper E.D. Burnett said his investigation should take several days to complete.

Sgt. J.A. Humphrey said he received a lot of calls from people claiming to have witnessed the incident.

One witness told police he saw Zirk on the southbound entrance ramp walking toward the interstate highway, Humphrey said.

Police said they were awaiting toxicology test results.

Ministry buildings destroyed in fire

Damage was estimated at $100,000 in a fire Thursday morning that destroyed a maintenance building and a shed belonging to the Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center at 16869 Taylor's Landing Road.


Maryland Fire Marshal Bruce Shafer responded to the 4:09 a.m. fire and discovered that an electric golf cart, which malfunctioned and burned Wednesday, was parked next to the 32-by-50-foot building.

Although the fuel had been drained, the battery was still connected and was the source of the Thursday morning fire, Shafer said.

The fire traveled from the cart to a small trailer and then to the maintenance building and the shed, officials said. Also destroyed were equipment, groundskeeping machinery and recycling products, fire officials said.

A volunteer camp counselor who was camping overnight discovered the fire, officials said.

More than 30 firefighters responded from Fairplay, Sharpsburg, Boonsboro, Halfway, Williamsport, Potomac Valley, and Shepherdstown, W.Va. Also on the scene were the Washington County Air and Rehab units.

The camp is insured.

DNA testing won't be done on body

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Given no evidence of foul play, the West Virginia State Police laboratory has decided not to conduct DNA testing to positively identify skeletal remains found July 7 in a Johnstown, W.Va., home, Sgt. J.A. Humphrey said Thursday.

Police are more than 99 percent sure the remains, found clothed in two pairs of pants, five shirts and an Army coat in a small attic room of the house, belong to a Maryland man wanted by Baltimore County police, Humphrey said.

All indications are that he died from a self-inflicted wound, he said.

A shotgun was found on top of the body, according to police.

Police turned to DNA testing after they couldn't get a positive ID with dental records, Humphrey said.

Man faces DUI charges in wreck

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol following a head-on collision on Shape Charge Road Wednesday, according to West Virginia State Police.

The accident happened at about 8:30 p.m. near Rose Lane, according to Sgt. J.A. Humphrey.

Jody Lee Shanholtz, 26, was heading west on Shape Charge Road in a 1991 Chevrolet Blazer when he crossed over the center line and collided with an eastbound 1987 Chevrolet Chevette, driven by Eric James Wilson, 22, of Myersville, Md., Humphrey said.

Shanholtz was also charged with reckless driving and driving with a suspended license, he said.

Tools, toolbox taken

MARLOWE, W.Va. - Tools and a toolbox were reported stolen from a truck parked near the Marlowe Texaco between 10 and 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to West Virginia State Police.

Thieves broke in the passenger-side window and took a sawzall, hammer drill, miter saw and a tool box containing tools, according to Sgt. J.A. Humphrey.

The value of tools and window damage was estimated at $2,250, Humphrey said.

W.Va. man charged with larceny, battery

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man was charged with petit larceny and battery Wednesday after three VCRs were stolen from a Martinsburg store and a security worker who tried to stop him was shoved to the ground, according to court records.

Michael L. Messick, 19, of 306 Garden Drive, Apt. 203, was charged in the incident, which happened at about 8:30 a.m. at Kmart on Winchester Avenue, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Store employees told police that two men tried to take three RCA VCRs, valued at $330, out of the store by throwing them over a fence in the lawn-and-garden department, according to court records.

A security worker tried to chase the two but was shoved to the ground by one of them, according to court records.

Dumpster fire quickly doused

Hagerstown firefighters quickly put out a fire that broke out Thursday in a Dumpster outside a building owned by C.M. Offray & Son Inc. at 858 Willow Circle, according to the Hagerstown Fire Department.

Battalion Chief Kingsley Poole said the Dumpster contained debris from remodeling work that is going on at the building.

"For whatever reason, the Dumpster caught on fire," he said.

Poole said the cause of the 5:10 p.m. fire has not been determined.

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