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Police say a body found is likely that of missing man

October 25, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

A body found in a field south of Falling Waters on Friday afternoon is probably that of a Berkeley County man who has been missing for two months, West Virginia State Police said.

"Although positive identification has not been made, it's a distinct possibility. We're leaning in that direction," Sgt. C.C. Morton said.

Leroy A. Coutermarsh, 39, has been missing from his 5299 Williamsport Pike home since Aug. 20, Morton has said.

Morton said Coutermarsh's family was notified of the body being found.

He said there was no evidence of foul play. No weapons were found, there were no signs of a disturbance around the body and no injuries were apparent.

"There were items on him which indicated that if there had been foul play, that robbery was not a motive," Morton said.

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He said the investigating officer will file an unattended death report.

The body was found around 2 p.m. approximately 300 yards east of U.S. 11 in a field south of Hammond's Mill Road and north of Ernie's Salvage, Morton said. Landowners in the area found the body.

Morton said it may not be possible to positively identify the body due to decomposition.

The body was to be sent to the state medical examiner's office in Charleston, W.Va., today for an autopsy, Morton said.

There was no evidence at Coutermarsh's home of a crime or any signs of struggle, Morton said. Police found no indications he may have packed up any personal belongings at his home north of Martinsburg, near Barney's convenience store.

Coutermarsh had never left his house before without telling family members, Morton has said.

His family contacted state police on Sept. 12 about the disappearance.

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