Investigation continues in man's death

Police are looking for two people who might know what happened to a 93-year-old man found dead in his home.

Police are looking for two people who might know what happened to a 93-year-old man found dead in his home.

January 08, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police investigators are looking for two people who might know what happened to a 93-year-old man who was found dead in his home along Airport Road south of Martinsburg Sunday night, officials familiar with the investigation said Tuesday.

It is believed one of the people might be able to provide general information related to the death of Delbert Rodgers, while the second might be able to provide specific information, Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said Tuesday night.

Games-Neely would not say whether the people might be possible suspects in the death of Rodgers, which is being treated as a homicide.


"At this point, (police are) not confirming that," Games-Neely said.

Investigators have not been able to locate the two people for questioning, West Virginia State Police Sgt. Deke Walker said Tuesday.

Rodgers, who lived in a one-story house across from the main terminal building at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport, was discovered dead in his house about 11 p.m. Sunday by a caretaker, Walker said. Rodgers was found in a room off the kitchen of the house, Walker said.

Walker has said there were some indicators inside the house that point to homicide, but he declined to elaborate. Walker said Tuesday he cannot comment yet on those details.

Games-Neely said it is possible that Rodgers suffered blunt force trauma to his body and was possibly strangled.

Rodgers' body was taken to the state Medical Examiner's office in Morgantown for an autopsy Tuesday, Walker said.

Walker said he was waiting to hear the results of the autopsy, but had not received any information Tuesday night.

Walker said troopers investigating the case were mostly concentrating on the autopsy Tuesday and had not had a lot of time to interview people.

Troopers are also trying to put together a possible motive for Rodgers' death, Walker said.

Walker said Tuesday it appears Rodgers lived by himself. The caretaker apparently came to the house periodically to help Rodgers with various chores, Walker said.

Rodgers had a daughter who "lives somewhat in the area" but information about her was not clear, Walker said.

Rodgers' house is across from the West Virginia Moulding and Millwork building, which is next door to the airport terminal. There is a complex of farm buildings behind Rodgers' house and one of his neighbors said he used to farm the area.

Neighbors said they used to see Rodgers go outside and perform chores like mowing, but he did not visit a lot with area neighbors.

Several of Rodgers' family members who gathered at his house Monday declined to comment about the case.

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