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Police still hope to solve Martinsburg murder cold case

July 09, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Nearly four years have passed since the homicide of a 60-year-old man in Martinsburg, and police are still hoping to solve the cold case.

Bart Gilbert Bannar Jr. of Martinsburg was slumped in the driver's seat of a tan Toyota truck on Cumberland Valley Place, a small alley off West John Street, when he was found Sept. 14, 2004.

The truck's engine was running, police said, and he was found with gunshot wounds to the chest and arms.

At 3:46 a.m. that day, police received a report of shots fired in the alley, which is parallel to the 400 block of Winchester Avenue.

Martinsburg Detective Lt. G.B. Swartwood declined to elaborate on the timing of the news release Tuesday.

"We're just trying to generate some more information," Swartwood said.

Former Berkeley County magistrate Kristy Greer told The Herald-Mail in 2004 that Bannar told her two months before the shooting that he was providing information to police.

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A few drug-related offenses were filed against Bannar before his death, according to court records.

When he died, Bannar lived at an apartment at 801 Virginia Ave.

Anyone with information concerning this homicide may call the Martinsburg Police Department at 304-264-2100 or Berkeley County Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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