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Man found dead in W.Va.

September 14, 2000

Man found dead in W.Va.



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Harpers Ferry, W.Va., man died from internal injuries after he was found in a remote area of the West Ridge Hills subdivision Friday night, according to West Virginia State Police.

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Michael Anthony McCroskey, 36, of Route 1, was found along Hickory Lane about 11:30 p.m. Friday by Barbara West, with whom McCroskey had lived for years, said Trooper M.L. Dickerson.

McCroskey did not want to go to the hospital, so West took him home, Dickerson said.

At about 4:30 a.m. Saturday, West noticed McCroskey was not breathing and called 911, Dickerson said.

Dickerson said by the time he and ambulance crews arrived at McCroskey's house, McCroskey was dead.

Dickerson said he could not comment on whether he believes foul play was involved in McCroskey's death.

Dickerson said he could not comment in detail about the incident because his department is in the middle of an investigation into the death.

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"We're still following up collecting evidence and taking statements," Dickerson said Wednesday.

Jefferson County Coroner William Miller said he examined McCroskey but did not list a cause of death on McCroskey's death certificate because he knew the body was being sent to the West Virginia Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy.

McCroskey had bruises on his face and head and it appeared he had been beaten up, Miller said.

The results of the autopsy were not yet available, state police said.

Neighbors in the subdivision said they are concerned that police did not release information about the death until Wednesday. They said there are many small children in the community and they should have been informed about the incident earlier so they could take steps to protect their families if necessary.

"We don't understand how there could have been such a violent death in our community and nobody knew anything," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified. "There's all kinds of rumors floating around."

State Police Sgt. S.E. Paugh said Wednesday he did not know why his department did not release information about the death sooner. Paugh said he was off from work when the incident occurred, and did not return to the detachment until Wednesday.

McCroskey was found in a heavily wooded area along Hickory Lane where there are few homes, Dickerson said.

Homes in West Ridge Hills are a mix of houses and mobile homes.

Hickory Lane is at the top of the subdivision and is a dead end road, neighbors said.

The subdivision is on the Blue Ridge Mountain about 10 miles east of Charles Town.

West and McCroskey lived about three-fifths of a mile from the area on Hickory Lane where McCroskey was found Friday night, Dickerson said.

Dickerson would not say where in the house McCroskey was found when he arrived Saturday morning.

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