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Police identify body found in W.Va. home

January 09, 2001

Police identify body found in W.Va. home



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - An autopsy was to be performed today on the body of a man who was found dead in his home with a knife in his chest early Monday, West Virginia State Police said Tuesday.

Police identified the dead man as Ivan Troy Wesco, 24, of 117 Naomi Lane in Berkeley County, W.Va.

Police said they had not determined by Tuesday whether Wesco's death was a homicide or a suicide.

The medical examiner had scheduled an autopsy for 11:30 a.m. today, "and we won't know anything more until after that," said State Police Trooper D.M. Olack.

Olack said officers were trying to piece together what happened at the modern-looking home in a subdivision about 2 1/2 miles south of W.Va. 9 off Opequon Lane. Police tape surrounded the house Tuesday.

"There's just some real bizarre circumstances, which is why we really can't confirm much for you about what this is," said Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely.

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Police arrived at the house at about 5:45 a.m. Monday after receiving a call to check on a person's welfare there.

They found Wesco with a knife in his chest and three knife wounds on his body, Olack said. He said it appeared the stabbing occurred between 2:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m.

Police believe the call to police came from a woman at the house.

Nobody answered the door at the house Tuesday afternoon.

Neighbors Jeff and Merla Zollinger, who live next door, said it was difficult to tell who lived in the house. They had little contact with the people there, they said.

They said they've lived in their house for three years and thought the neighbors might have moved in as long as 18 months ago.

"Nobody really knew them," said Jeff Zollinger.

"It was really hard to tell who lived there," Merla Zollinger said. "It seemed like there were three or four guys who were there. They were clean cut, friendly, quiet. It's a real quiet neighborhood."

They said they think some of the people at the house may have been involved in landscaping work because they sometimes saw a truck with a company name on it at the house.

"We moved here to try to get away from the crime and noise of northern Virginia," Jeff Zollinger said. "We wanted a safe place to raise our kids. It's kind of ironic."

Another neighbor, who did not want to be named, confirmed the Zollingers' feeling that the neighborhood of modern houses on big lots was quiet and friendly. Like the Zollingers, this neighbor didn't know the people who lived at 117 Naomi Lane.

Wesco had one brush with the law, according to Berkeley County court records.

Wesco was arrested in June 1994 for possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine, according to records in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. He was released on $10,000 bond and in December 1995 pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of marijuana under 15 grams.

He paid a fine of $100 and $62 in court costs, records show.

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