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Body found in closet near Charles Town appears to be woman in her 90s

Identity of person found last week still unconfirmed

Identity of person found last week still unconfirmed

April 08, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- A decomposed body found by police last week in a closet of a house on Newington Court in the Tuscawilla Hills subdivision was that of a woman who appears to be in her 90s, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Department spokesman said Monday.

An autopsy was conducted at the state Medical Examiner's Office in Charleston, W.Va., but the woman's identity could not be confirmed due to advanced decomposition of the body, Lt. Dave Colbert said.

Investigators are trying to determine the woman's identity through DNA testing, Colbert said, noting that it could be two weeks before the sheriff's department receives results from those tests.

Colbert confirmed that the woman was found in a yellow house on Newington Court, where sheriff's department deputies were working Thursday night.

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Police revealed the location of the house Sunday.

Tuscawilla Hills is a subdivision about three miles west of Charles Town along W.Va. 51. The house where the woman was found is a short distance from a convenience store near the entrance to Tuscawilla Hills. The house is surrounded by duplexes.

Although it appears the woman died of natural causes, it is obvious there are "unusual circumstances" surrounding the death, Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober has said.

Boober declined to go into more detail about the appearance of the body, citing an ongoing investigation. Boober said it appeared the body had been there for "some time."

To perform DNA testing, a sample of the body -- like a piece of bone or fingernail -- is taken, Colbert said.

"Any bit of body tissue will have DNA," Colbert said.

Neighbors around the house where the woman was found said Sunday they did not know a lot about the people who lived in the house.

Colbert said his department is finished with its work in the house.

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