Maxine Stalnaker Mary Friend
UPDATE (1:30 PM)
In a press conference broadcast live on WDTV Thursday afternoon, authorities confirmed the arrest of a second man in the Stalnaker-Friend murder case. David Hughes was arrested in Ohio. He is currently behind bars at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio. He will be extradited to West Virginia.
They are continuing to search for a third suspect. That man's name is Steve Freeman. He's believed to be in the northwest Ohio area.
Authorities also emphasized how the case wouldn't have progressed without cooperation between the Lewis and Harrison County Sheriff's Departments. They said the past 4 1/2 months have been pivotal in terms of breaking new ground in the case.
They warned that Freeman should be considered dangerous. If you have any information about where he might be, or any new leads on the case itself, please call the Lewis County Sheriff's Department or the Harrison County Sheriff's Department. You can also call your local law enforcement agency.
ORIGINAL STORY (Friday 3 AM)
A major break erupted in a 1999 double murder case out of Lewis County, Thursday morning. Joseph Metz is now charged with murdering his mother and grandmother.
It's the case of Maxine Stalnaker, 69, and Mary Friend, 45. Both women were last seen on December 1st, 1999. Their car was recovered a few days later in Harrison County, but the women were never found.
The closest investigators got to the women was when a fisherman found one of their purses back in 2002.
Fast forward to present day. Joseph Metz was arrested by investigators from both Lewis and Harrison Counties. Metz is the son of Friend and the grandson of Stalnaker.
He's charged with two counts of the following charges: murder, kidnapping and robbery. Police believe Metz and another suspect killed both women because they possessed a tablet that contained incriminating evidence against The Wilderness Plantation. Metz was an employee at that club and restaurant at the time. Police think there was a plan to get the women to Jesse's Run Road where they swiped the tablet and then carried out the killings.
Metz maintained his innocence throughout the arraignment in Lewis County Magistrate Court on Thursday morning. And even after fourteen years, he says police have the wrong guy. "What can I say? I'm accused of something I didn't do... never even knew nothing about it," Metz explained exclusively to 5 News.
More charges are pending. A press conference is planned for 1:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Keep it here to 5 News for the latest information.