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W.Va. State Troopers Brainstorming how to Solve Cold Cases

PRINCETON — Unsolved homicides, a kidnapping and a hit-and-run causing a death are among the 33 cold cases getting another look by the West Virginia State Police.

Troopers recently met in Beckley to share ideas about approaching cold cases in the state’s southern counties, said Sgt. D.W. Miler of the West Virginia State Police detachment in Princeton.

“It was a brainstorming session to see if anybody had any new ideas or thoughts,” Miller said Monday.

Mercer County has five of the cold cases that will receive additional investigation. The oldest one is the 1982 double homicide of Daniel and Debra Whitely in the Lashmeet area. Miller said he has been assigned to this case.

A 1985 homicide of Mercer county resident Linda Ransom has been assigned to First Sgt. J.R. Pauley. Miller did not have additional details Monday regarding this case.

Another homicide involving the 1989 death of Sandra Worrell in the Princeton area has been assigned to Sgt. W.A. Pendleton.

A 2002 kidnapping and sexual assault of a Mercer County woman has been assigned to Cpl. A.P. Christian.

A fifth cold case being handled by the Princeton detachment involves the 2004 hit-and-run death of Ryan Leeper, a pedestrian who was struck by a passing vehicle at Melrose Square along Athens Road near Princeton.

A second vehicle, unable to swerve because of oncoming traffic, also hit him; that second driver stopped to call emergency services and help Leeper. First Sgt. Pauley has been assigned to this investigation.

Miller asked anyone who believes they may have information about any cold case to contact the West Virginia State Police at 304-425-2102.

Details concerning cold cases McDowell County and Monroe County were not available Monday.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph - Tuesday, February 1, 2011  

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