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Family recalls victim's devotion

June 25, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Family members of a Martinsburg woman who was found dead last week in a wooded area near the Berkeley-Jefferson county line expressed shock over the ordeal Sunday, partly over how the woman's background was reported in the media and the manner of her death.

On Wednesday, West Virginia State Police found Tina Marie Starcher's body between Dam #4 Road and Rockymarsh Run, which is near Scrabble Road.

She allegedly was picked up by two men May 27 and taken to a home in Hedgesville, W.Va., where she was forced to have sex with them and killed, according to authorities.

Fred Dwayne Douty II, 28, of 1301 Texas St. in Martinsburg, W.Va., and Anthony Charles Juntilla, 37, of 86 Tecumseh Trail in Hedgesville, were arraigned Saturday on one count each of first-degree murder, according to charging documents.

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The men wereg held without bail Sunday at Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg.

Starcher's stepmother, Cecilia Himes, said Starcher's family members were angered and shocked over the string of events, including how her background was reported in local media.

Court records show that Starcher, 40, pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution in 2004, according to Mary Angelo, a secretary for Berkeley County Magistrate Jim Humphrey.

Himes questioned why that was reported in news stories and said many people have done things in their lives that they regretted.

"They don't need it splashed all over the paper," Himes said.

Himes said Starcher dealt with issues surrounding the prostitution charge and moved on.

Himes spoke highly of her stepdaughter's way of life, saying one of her biggest joys was being with family members.

Starcher cared for her grandmother when she was dying and also took time to care for her sister during a pregnancy, Himes said.

"She wasn't something on the street," said Himes, adding that Starcher was attending a church in town.

Although Starcher lived at 117 Centre St. with Himes, Himes described her stepdaughter as "very free." Sometimes, Himes said, she would not see Starcher for two or three weeks.

Starcher would sometimes stay with friends and other times Starcher would have friends stay with her at her Centre Street home, Himes said.

Himes said that was the reason the family did not file a missing person's report with authorities.

Starcher was born and raised in Berkeley County and went to local public schools, Himes said.

Himes said Starcher was married, although she declined to give her stepdaughter's husband's name. Starcher had two children, an 18-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter, Himes said.

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