Discovery of body opens suspicious death investigation

On Friday morning, local emergency officials were alerted to the discovery of a deceased body on a property off Winchester Grade Road south of Berkeley Springs. Law enforcement officers who responded to the remote area along a creek are now treating the incident as a suspicious death, and continue to investigate the identity of the person and how he died.

Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer told The Morgan Messenger on Friday afternoon that 911 received a call at 11:16 a.m. from a man who said his brother had recently been reported missing, and the caller had found a deceased body out back of a house his brother had been staying in. The man said he hadn’t had contact with his brother, who police identified as Steve Herrell, since May 11.

In the course of trying to find his brother, the man ventured to a creek located roughly half a mile behind the missing man’s residence. He located a deceased body there on Friday morning, May 26.

Sheriff Bohrer said Cpl. Luke Shambaugh, Deputy Hedrick and Lt. Seth Place responded to the property. There they found the deceased body over a steep embankment. Police sought the assistance of the South Morgan Volunteer Fire Department and Reynold’s Store Fire Department to get apparatus into the area to retrieve the body.

Melody Stotler, Morgan County Medical Examiner, took charge of the remains. They will be transported to the Office of the West Virginia Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy and positive identification.

Sheriff Bohrer said investigators are looking for any information from the public concerning the missing person Steve Herrell during the last two weeks. Anyone with information should contact Cpl. Shambaugh, who is the lead investigator in the case, at 304-258-1067.