The Times West Virginian

August 17, 2013

Officials are investigating human remains

Associated Press

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia State Police were working with Alabama authorities Friday to investigate the discovery of two sets of human remains found in a storage locker and to decide whether they should file charges against a “person of interest.”

Sgt. Ron Lilly would not reveal the person’s name or gender.

The owner of the Stor-All rental storage facility outside Summerville contacted the local State Police detachment Wednesday afternoon when he found the door to one unit unsecured and looked inside.

“He saw what he believed to be a human leg, but he wasn’t sure,” Lilly said. “He told us he didn’t know if it was animal or human ... but as soon as we saw it, we knew. There was no question.”

Troopers got a search warrant and called in the state medical examiner’s office, which removed the remains and was doing testing Friday to determine both the identities and the causes of death.

The owner of the storage facility didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

In Alabama, Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair told news media outlets that officials are investigating whether the bodies could be those of two Alabama women who disappeared in 2002 — 105-year-old Mary Cobb and her 85-year-old daughter Wynona Delvecchio.

Lilly said Alabama authorities flew to Charleston on Thursday, and the states are now collaborating to determine whether and where any crimes may have occurred and where charges, if any, should be filed.

Nicholas County Prosecutor James Milam did not immediately return a telephone call or email message seeking comment.

An assistant to Nicholas County Magistrate Court John Morton, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, said a defendant was expected to appear Friday afternoon but for the moment was at the Summersville Regional Medical Center.

Hospital officials declined comment, citing patient confidentiality laws.