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Body found in woods outside Martinsburg

July 20, 2005|by CANDICE BOSLEY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police called to a secluded, wooded area where a body was found Tuesday night on the mountain behind Poor House Road believe the death likely was accidental, officials said.

The unidentified man's body was found at 7:46 p.m. about a mile away from a house at 4681 Poor House Road, outside of Martinsburg. Police had to use a four-wheeler to get to the spot, Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Kenneth Lemaster said.

The house from which the call originated is a large two-story farmhouse. A sign about halfway up the long driveway to the house read, "Peace to all who enter here."

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Lemaster said five deputies and several reserve deputies responded. Two funeral home employees were on the scene with a van, waiting to transport the body.

A Berkeley County medical examiner will examine the man's remains and research his medical history before determining whether to send the body to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy, Lemaster said.

Preliminary findings indicate the death likely was accidental, Lemaster said.

"We don't see any foul play at this time," Lemaster said late Tuesday.

Lemaster did not know the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the body.

Deputies, including lead investigator Sgt. Ron Gardner, were still in the woods, taking photographs, measurements and collecting items of potential evidence.

It is standard procedure to process such sites as potential crime scenes, Lemaster said.

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