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Tips to police on Paw Paw woman's disappearance never panned out

April 22, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Melissa Moreland was last seen late on the night of Oct. 23, 1987, at the former High's gas station in Paw Paw, W.Va.
Submitted photo

PAW PAW, W.Va. — Melissa Moreland’s father died not knowing what happened to his 21-year-old daughter who left his home Oct. 23, 1987, and disappeared.

Moreland, who today would be 46 years old, was last seen late that night at the former High’s gas station in Paw Paw. Her parents believed she would be spending the night with a friend.

Over the years, several law enforcement agencies working on the case have investigated a variety of tips. Some of those tips claimed the woman is alive, while others pointed to possible places her remains could be found.

“We’d run down every lead we’d get, and nothing would pan out,” said Lt. Timothy Stapleton, of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department.

The tips used to be more plentiful and included some from psychics, Stapleton said. He took just one call related to the case in 2011.

“At times, there were some pretty decent leads. We just never found a body,” Stapleton said.

Investigators believe Moreland is dead, he said.

Moreland lived with her parents, Oliver W. and Frances Moreland, in Hampshire County near Paw Paw. She would come and go from the home, so some time had passed before she was initially reported missing.

At the time of her disappearance, Moreland was 5 feet 5 inches tall and about 105 pounds. The Caucasian woman had shoulder-length light brown hair and green eyes.

Moreland was last seen wearing a white blouse, blue jeans, high-top tennis shoes, a Hampshire High School class ring from 1984 and a watch with a burgundy band.

Anyone with information about Moreland can call police at 304-258-1067.

Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series about missing persons in the Tri-State area.

The Herald-Mail contacted law enforcement agencies to obtain information about area residents who have been reported missing.

Those profiled include Revell Jeeter of Harrisonville, Pa., whose story was published Sunday; Arthur Murray of Williamsport, whose story appeared Monday; and Mary Jean Olshefski-Beatty of Bunker Hill, W.Va., and Melissa Moreland, who lived with her parents near Paw Paw, W.Va., whose stories were published Tuesday.

If there is a missing-persons case you would like to have profiled in The Herald-Mail, you may call the newspaper at 301-791-7281. Each case must have been reported to a law enforcement agency.

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