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Police still chasing clues in shooting

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department continued to seek information on the slain teacher's final moments.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department continued to seek information on the slain teacher's final moments.

November 20, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Sheriff said Tuesday his department has received several calls from people offering information they hope can help police solve last week's shooting death of Charles Town teacher Jeffrey L. Rowland.

Based on those calls and the fact that Rowland was fairly well-known among teachers and his students, Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober is hoping more people who may have seen Rowland last Thursday - the day he was killed - will call the sheriff's department with information.

Boober said earlier in the week that investigators were trying to account for the whereabouts of Rowland last Thursday between the time he left work at Wright Denny Intermediate School at about 4:30 p.m. and when he was killed, which was estimated to be before midnight.

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Police believe he was killed at a location just off the C&O Canal near Sandy Hook in southern Washington County.

"Those last minutes are very crucial. There's no question in my mind that there are people who saw him that took it for granted that it was business as usual. But it wasn't business as usual," Boober said.

One of the people who called the sheriff's department Tuesday was a woman who said she saw Rowland shopping at the Wal-Mart store on U.S. 340 north of Charles Town between 5 and 6 p.m. last Thursday, Boober said.

Another woman has said she saw Rowland at about 6:15 p.m. that day at a 7-Eleven store at the intersection of W.Va. 115 and Jefferson Avenue, police said.

The woman said it appeared Rowland was waiting for someone at the convenience store, Boober said.

In another development, Boober said investigators have located a close friend of Rowland's who is being considered a material witness in the case.

Boober said investigators expect to talk to the witness soon.

Rowland, 43, of Charles Town, taught at Wright Denny for 22 years. His body was found last Friday morning by a jogger at the Weverton access, which is near the parking area at the end of Keep Tryst Road in the Sandy Hook area.

He was shot once in the neck and probably died at the scene, Boober said.

Boober believes robbery was a likely motive for the slaying because Rowland's wallet was missing.

Anyone with information about Rowland's death may call the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department at 304-728-3205.

Greg Alton, investigator with the Washington County Sheriff's Department, said people are asked to call his office as well with any information on the case. The sheriff's department is also investigating Rowland's death. Alton can be reached at 240-313-2185.

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