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W.Va. woman dies of stab wounds

June 06, 2002|by SARAH MULLIN

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A woman who had gone to the Hedgesville Post Office to mail letters was found Tuesday night in the post office lobby bleeding from stab wounds, West Virginia State Police said Wednesday.

Cathy A. Crissy, 43, of Hedgesville, was taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., where she died, police said.

Hedgesville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co. personnel who were called to the post office found Crissy laying in a pool of blood in the front lobby, according to state police reports. She had been stabbed multiple times, police said.

State police and emergency personnel went to the post office after Berkeley County Central Dispatch received a call made from a cell phone at 9:12 p.m. State police would not release information about the person who called central dispatch.

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Police said they believe Crissy was stabbed between 8:45 p.m. and 9:12 p.m.

She was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m., Mary Jane Redden, a nursing supervisor at City Hospital, said.

Crissy went to the post office, which is about a half mile from the center of Hedgesville, to mail letters, Senior Trooper D.M. Olack said.

The post office, along W.Va. 9., is in a cut-out section of a hillside along the highway. There are no other buildings or houses around it.

Police said Wednesday night that no arrest had been made.

An autopsy was to be performed Wednesday.

"This is a very difficult time ... It was quite a shock," Crissy's mother, Peggy Wagner, said.

"My daughter was brutally murdered. You never expect to bury your children," Wagner said.

Her mother said Crissy had two children, a 4-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter.

Wagner, who lives in Hanover, Pa., said her daughter moved from Hagerstown to the Hedgesville area two years ago.

She said Crissy was born in California and lived in Baltimore before moving to Hagerstown.

On Tuesday night, state police troopers were inside the post office, and a Hedgesville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co. truck blocked the post office entrance.

Jeff Most said he responded to the post office Tuesday night as a junior member of the Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Co.

Fire company crews set up high-powered lights at the entrance to the post office and Crissy's white station wagon was still in the parking lot, Most said.

On Wednesday, cones and police tape blocked the entrance while the investigation continued. An orange sign placed beside the road carried the message "Post Office Closed."

Olack said police finished the investigation at the post office at around 3 p.m. Wednesday, and that he expected the facility to be open to the public today.

The West Virginia State Police-Morgantown Crime Scene Collection Team was called to assist local investigation efforts, according to police.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. M.A. Carte said the collection team and local officers worked to gather evidence.

He would not say if the weapon was found.

Mail carriers at the Hedgesville post office collected the mail at the Martinsburg Post Office on Wednesday, Jim McArthur, supervisor for the Martinsburg office, said.

He said the mail, which is initially delivered to the Martinsburg office, normally is taken to Hedgesville for delivery.

"The only things affected are the post office boxes and the window service," he said.

State police have asked anyone with information about the stabbing to contact Senior Trooper R.J. Elswick, the lead investigator, at 304-267-0001.

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