Searchers in West Virginia’s sliver of a panhandle found suspected human remains Thursday that could be connected with a woman reported missing more than a month ago.
Ohio County Sheriff Tom Howard told WTOV that the remains have been taken to Kepner Funeral Home in Elm Grove, where a medical examiner will determine if the remains are human and if so, make an identification.
Howard said his department was prompted to search the area by a call from another department regarding a missing person.
“We got a tip from an out-of-state agency,” Howard said. “Right now, we have discovered some remains, and we have collected those remains, and the medical examiner is going to take and identify them to see if they’re human remains.
“This is possibly stemming from a missing person’s report, so that is the development we’ve had. We definitely have found remains, and they’re being taken to be identified.”
The “out-of-state agency” may indicate the remains are not those of Gretchen Fleming, a 28-year-old woman last seen leaving the My Way Lounge in Parkersburg, West Virginia, on December 4. But, Parkersburg police said earlier this week they were looking for information about a black Nissan Rogue that may be connected with a man seen leaving the bar with Fleming and giving her a ride, as CrimeOnline reported.
That vehicle had no license plate but did have a Pittsburgh Penguins plate frame. Elm Grove, just outside Wheeling, is more than 100 miles from Parkersburg but about 50 miles from Pittsburgh and only 10 miles from the Pennsylvania state line.
Investigators have not publicly identified the man who gave Fleming a ride from the bar that night, but they have said his accounts of the evening have been inconsistent. The Rogue was seen driving toward his residence, police said. He has been called a person of interest in the case but not a suspect. Investigators have executed search warrants on his property and digital devices.
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[Featured image: Gretchen Fleming/handout]