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Police say dead man was bound

A West Virginia medical examiner believes 93-year-old Delbert Rodgers died from blunt force trauma to the head.

A West Virginia medical examiner believes 93-year-old Delbert Rodgers died from blunt force trauma to the head.

January 09, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG - A medical examiner believes the 93-year-old man found dead inside his Airport Road home late Sunday died from blunt force trauma to the head, and police say he was tied up and money was taken.

Sgt. Deke Walker of the West Virginia State Police said Wednesday that final autopsy results had not yet been submitted to his office.

He said, however, that Dr. Jack Frost in the Medical Examiner's Office in Morgantown said the cause of death was blunt force trauma.

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No arrests had been made as of Wednesday.

A caretaker found Delbert Rodgers inside his home late Sunday. Money and other valuables had been taken, and Rodgers had been tied up, Walker said.

Walker declined to elaborate, and said he was not sure how much money was missing.

Walker said he did not know what kind of weapon was used.

The death was similar to that of a 76-year-old Washington County, Md., man who was tied up and his money stolen on Dec. 5, 2000, Walker said.

In that case, Saul Joseph Stanley, also known as Jeff Stanley, and Liger Grady, of Martinsburg, W.Va., were charged in the death of William Leonard Messersmith, who was beaten in his home west of Clear Spring and a bag containing around $40,000 was taken.

Grady pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. His sentence was cut to 10 years in exchange for his testimony in the Stanley trial.

Stanley was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Walker said that Rodgers most likely was killed Sunday. Investigators know he picked up his morning newspaper, but do not know when he died.

Anyone with information, or who saw anything suspicious near Rodgers' home, may call West Virginia State Police at 1-304-267-0000 or 1-304-267-0001.

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