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Coroner says body found on road in Berkeley Co.

June 22, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County Medical Examiner David Brining confirmed Thursday that he handled a death along Dam #4 Road and Rockymarsh Run in Berkeley County about 6 p.m. Wednesday, and he said the West Virginia State Police would be handling the release of any additional information.

"At this point, we're dealing with a rumored situation," Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela J. Games Neely said Thursday. She declined to elaborate.

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

State Police Sgt. S.E. Davis said Thursday that Trooper J.J. Bowman was leading the agency's investigation. Davis also declined to give additional comment.

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Dam #4 Road was taped off by police about seven-tenths of a mile from its intersection with Scrabble Road in northeastern Berkeley County. Steve Tomasik said he and his brother-in-law were about to leave a nearby house they have been remodeling when the road was blocked off by authorities.

"I (first) thought they were chasing somebody," said Tomasik, who went to scope out the area where he saw emergency officials while waiting about 30 minutes for the one-lane road to reopen.

Tomasik said authorities did not let him get close to the cordoned-off area, a site where the road is intersected by a power line right-of-way. No one could get into the public access boat ramp near the dam operated by Allegheny Power, he said.

At the end of a trail apparently carved by responders Wednesday, Tomasik said he saw a swath of blackened weeds and briars a few feet below a rock shelf along the eastern bank of Rockymarsh Run.

"I thought somebody burned something 'cause it was all black," Tomasik said while retracing his steps Thursday.

But the noxious odor in the air Thursday afternoon at the end of the trail did not smell like anything had burned there. In fact, large insects that resembled flies could be seen around the blackened area. A white latex glove and two blue-green gloves were spotted to the side of the site close to the Berkeley-Jefferson counties line.

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