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CURRENT STORIES


Hikers discover body in woods

by Bob Stealey

EDITOR

CLARKSBURG -- The death of a man whose body was discovered Saturday in a wooded section of Clarksburg is being investigated by city police as a homicide, Police Chief John Walker said.

The body, which Walker said was that of a "young, black man, believed to be in his 20s," was stumbled upon by three people who were hiking in the woods, he said.

Walker added that the victim had been shot.

"We do know that the gunshot was not self-inflicted," the chief stated. "And we believe that the death was recent."

Police were notified of the discovery at about 4:30 p.m., said Walker.

The site of the body was several hundred yards from where the paved portion of E.B. Saunders Way ends, according to Walker. He further described the site as near some "four-wheeler" trails, but extremely difficult to reach, even with four-wheel drive trucks.

Although the man's identity was known by police, Walker declined to divulge that information until next of kin could be notified.

The Clarksburg Fire Department was alerted to deliver some equipment to the scene, as was the Harrison County Emergency Squad, Walker said.

City officers investigating included Cpls. Joe Cottrill and Robert Matheny and investigator David Wygal, said the chief. State Police from the Bridgeport detachment were also called to the scene, he added.

Mary Ann Lavender of the Harrison County Coroner's Office was also at the site of the discovery, said Walker.

It was the second discovery of a body in the city within 10 days. On Thursday, Feb. 26, the body of a man was found lying on the eastern bank of Elk Creek near Ken's Auto.

That body also remains unidentified pending further examination by the state medical examiner's office in Charleston, the chief said.

Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at (304) 626-1438, or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com.