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Autopsy confirms police findings in couple's deaths

September 21, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Autopsies have confirmed police investigators' beliefs that a Martinsburg man shot his wife last Saturday before turning a firearm on himself, Martinsburg Police Detective Sgt. G.B. Swartwood said Wednesday.

Jeffrey Michael Webber, 43, and Kimberly Anne Webber, 40, of 704 W. King St., were found dead in an upstairs bedroom about 1:30 p.m., but exactly when the shooting happened was not released Wednesday.

Swartwood said autopsies by West Virginia Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Zia Sabet in Charleston, W.Va., determined the couple's cause of death to be from gunshot wounds to the head and that Kimberly Webber was shot in the face. Her manner of death was homicide and Jeffrey Webber's gunshot wound was described as self-inflicted, Swartwood said.

"Martinsburg Police detectives conferred with Prosecuting Attorney for Berkeley County, Pamela Games-Neely, in regards to this investigation and findings, and she has deemed this case as closed," Swartwood said.

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The autopsies coincided with police investigators' examination of physical evidence, statements and handwritten notes taken from the scene, Swartwood said.

A memorial service was held Wednesday at Second Baptist Church in Martinsburg for the couple, who neighbors said had relocated from Pennsylvania about two years ago with their children, Troy, 16, and Kelly, 13.

Neighbors said they often saw the Webbers riding a Harley-Davidson together but otherwise generally stayed to themselves.

Jeffrey Webber's father, Donald M. Webber, was at a loss for words to explain what happened Wednesday.

"I don't know why these things happen," Webber said. "Through the grace of God, I'll get through."

His son had been married to Kimberly Webber for 16 years and now the family is "trying to do the best thing we can" for the children, Donald Webber said.

Memorial donations may be made for the care of the children in care of Donald Webber, 4713 National Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579.

"That's the only way it will be used," Webber said.

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