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Westover Graveyard Investigation Continues
Written by Phyllis Smith
Last updated on June 30, 2013 @ 10:19PM
Created on June 29, 2013 @ 6:39PM

A grave dating all the way back to 1831 has caused excavation work in Westover to come to a halt.

Friday, officials were told about a graveyard disturbance, and along with locals in the area, they're looking for answers.

The cemetery in this area may have been know as Thorn Cemetery Number One, and the grave around the edge of the excavated area reads 'In Memory of John Thorn.'

Officials are trying to determine whether there are more graves, and if those graves or headstones have been moved. Officials said anyone who knowingly dug up remains in the cemetery could face charges.

Monongalia County Sheriff's Department detective Mike Demedici said, "We will consult with the State Medical Examiner's Office to determine what the next step will be as far as they want to handle the scene if those graves have indeed been disturbed. We're not sure at this point if they have. If we find there are graves disturbed, we will be seeking their advice on the next step to take." 

Neighbors said they knew a graveyard with several headstones was back there, and had seen them as recently as just last week.

"We know it was a graveyard, and we know we put flowers there. I've always put flowers on there for 20 years," said a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous.

"It's so weird that this happened in Westover of all places. It's very bizarre," said Westover resident, Alex Barnes.

The property owner could not be reached for comment.

According to the Dominion Post, he is planning on asking the city's Board of Zoning Appeals to alter the lot lines so he can preserve the graves by putting up a wrought iron fence.

Anyone with photographs of the cemetery or historical documents is asked to contact detectives at 304-291-7218.

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Comments (1)
Jun 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Call Prof. Diana Noone or Jennifer Meyers at Fairmont State and see if any of the Criminal Justice students could research the microfiche at Fairmont State's library for any information on the cemetery. Run the VIN #s of the digging equipment or call the manufacturer.
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