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Police investigating woman's death as a homicide

June 22, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found Wednesday between Dam No. 4 Road and Rockymarsh Run in northeastern Berkeley County as a homicide, authorities said Friday.

The female was not identified, and police declined to explain how the body was found or who provided the tip to police that led to the discovery.

"The investigation is being treated as a homicide and the cause of death remains under investigation," West Virginia State Police Sgt. T.C. Kearns said Friday morning in a press release.

Kearns later confirmed that the body was found on the eastern bank of Rockymarsh Run, about seven-tenths of a mile from Scrabble Road.

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The site where the body appeared to be laying is several feet west of the one-lane road's gravel surface and a few more feet beyond a rock shelf and down the bank closer to the stream.

Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela J. Games-Neely said investigators, led by Trooper J.J. Bowman, were expecting to release information on the case on Friday, but that didn't happen.

"Everything is pending further investigation," Bowman said.

An eyewitness to the police response to the site on Wednesday said Dam No. 4 Road was taped off beginning just before 6 p.m., when he and his brother-in-law were getting ready to leave a nearby home they have been remodeling.

Berkeley County Medical Examiner David Brining said Thursday that the body was sent to Charleston, W.Va., for an autopsy at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of West Virginia.

Kearns said Friday that State Police are being assisted in the investigation by the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the Martinsburg Police Department.

Anyone with information about the identity of the woman or with any information about her death may call Kearns at 304-267-0001.

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