The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

April 15, 2012

Manhunt ends: Atwell arrested; child safe

Murder suspect captured along Mercer, Raleigh county line

BECKLEY — After a three-day manhunt, murder suspect Tracey Lee Atwell was captured and his 8-year-old daughter found around 4:15 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. M.D. Clemons with the Crimes Against Children Unit of the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment.

Atwell, 38, was captured while traveling along W.Va. 5 near the intersection of Nubbins Ridge Road and Egeria Road along the Mercer and Raleigh county line in the Spanishburg area, said Clemons.

The authorities were able to locate Atwell after he called his parents’ home and police were able to trace the call within a 3-mile radius.

On the phone with his father, Atwell swayed back and forth between the idea of bringing his daughter Porshia back to his parents and “acting desperate,” Clemons said.

She said Atwell and Porshia were staying off the road in the parked Jeep he stole Thursday from his parents’ home.

“At one point he actually heard the helicopter and attempted to conceal the car with tree branches to prevent us from seeing the top of the car,” she said. “We were patrolling the road heavily, but we would not have been able to locate him without the helicopter and ATVs.”

Although Atwell had not harmed Porshia, Clemons said the young girl had not had much food and water.

“They were living off candy bars, Laffy Taffy and an old bottle of water she found in the car. When we found her, she said her legs were weak, and I could see that her lips were chapped,” said Clemons.

Porshia has been taken to a local hospital for medical care.

Atwell is suspected of killing his wife, Christina Marie Atwell, 33, earlier in the week before tying up his parents and abducting Porshia around 1 p.m. Thursday.

He is facing charges of murder, armed robbery, two counts of kidnapping (one for tying up his parents), concealment of a child and grand larceny.

He has been remanded to Southern Regional Jail to await arraignment before a circuit court judge Monday.

“It is a big relief. It is like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders to know that he has been taken in and without incident,” added Clemons.

The State Police thanked other agencies that assisted in the investigation and apprehension, including the Mercer County and McDowell County sheriff’s departments, Princeton and Bluefield police departments, the Division of Natural Resources and Agent Terry Schwartz of the FBI.

Text Only
Breaking News
  • Eddie Jack Washington.jpg UPDATE: Investigation into 1974 murders starts following Times WV article

    The Windmill murders — a true mystery that has plagued Fairmont for almost 40 years — may have been solved with the arrest of a man in Florida in the triple execution-style slayings of three Fairmont residents.

    February 7, 2013 2 Photos

  • kennedy-rockefeller-DS.jpg BREAKING: Rockefeller won’t seek re-election with PHOTOS

    U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who came to West Virginia as a young man from one of the world’s richest families to work on antipoverty programs and remained in the state to build a political legacy, announced Friday he will not seek a sixth term.

    January 11, 2013 10 Photos

  • W.Va. BOE affirms superintendent firing

    Citing chronically poor student performance ratings, West Virginia’s Board of Education again voted to fire Jorea Marple as state schools superintendent Thursday after fielding harsh criticism over her dismissal.

    November 29, 2012

  • Board fires W.Va. schools superintendent

    West Virginia Schools Superintendent Jorea Marple has been fired.

    November 15, 2012

  • Unofficial vote totals for Marion County

    The following are the unofficial votes from 76 of 76 precincts reported in Marion County Tuesday night.

    November 6, 2012

  • Former GT mayor pleads not guilty to nine felony counts

    By Debra Minor Wilson
    Times West Virginian

    FAIRMONT — The former mayor of Grant Town pleaded not guilty to nine felony counts in his arraignment Thursday in Marion Circuit Court Division II before Judge David Janes.

    October 25, 2012

  • Police investigating bank robbery in White Hall

    The White Hall Police Department is handling the investigation and is being assisted by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI. Fairmont City Police provided aid Saturday morning, said Patrolman Caleb Krepps of the White Hall Police Department.

    October 13, 2012

  • Holgorsen inks 6-year deal with WVU

    West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck and Head Football Coach Dana Holgorsen have agreed to terms of a six-year contract that runs through the 2017 season.

    August 8, 2012

  • NCAA_sanctions.jpg Video: NCAA announces penalties against Penn State

    The NCAA slammed Penn State Monday with an unprecedented series of penalties, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno's victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    July 23, 2012 1 Photo

  • High court upholds key part of Obama health law

    The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the vast majority of President Barack Obama’s historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that virtually all Americans have health insurance.

    June 28, 2012

House Ads
Featured Ads