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Thread: WV - Jenkinjones - Barbara Jean Flake disappearance/murder, 2002

  1. #1
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    WV - Jenkinjones - Barbara Jean Flake disappearance/murder, 2002

    From the Bluefield (WV) Daily Telegraph:

    Barbara Jean Flake wasnít known to leave her house on the old No. 6 Mine Road in the small Jenkinjones community without telling her family and friends.

    Thatís why her son grew concerned about his motherís well-being after not hearing from her in more than a week. Billy Flake searched for his mother on Tuesday, April 9, 2002, only to find an empty and undisturbed house. His motherís pocketbook was still in the house, but she was nowhere to be found. [...]

    Two long years passed with no additional leads in the search for Flake, who was still considered a missing person. However, on the morning of March 3, 2004, troopers with the Welch detachment were contacted by a woman who said her son had stumbled upon a human skull in the woods near her home on Trussell Hollow, also in the Jenkinjones community. The human remains were located approximately 310 feet away from the western roadway edge. [...]

    The remains were later sent to the National Museum of Natural History in hopes of securing a positive identification. Morton said officers received a response from the national museum on April 7, 2004. A forensic anthropologic analysis determined the human remains were that of Barbara Flake.

    The case that had went cold was reopened ó this time as a homicide investigation.
    What I find odd is that the body found on Trussell Hollow is still listed as unidentified with NamUs (last reviewed in 2011). An administrative error? Or were the forensic anthropologist's findings not considered definitive?

    A later article on a possible suspect:

    A drifter accused of brazenly raping an elderly woman in broad daylight in New York's Central Park was a person of interest in a 2002 slaying in his home state of West Virginia, but investigators never had enough evidence to charge him, police said Friday.

    David Albert Mitchell, 42, has had run-ins with the law for virtually all of his adult life, and was twice charged with crimes in which the alleged victim was an elderly woman, according to court records and a prosecutor. And an ex-girlfriend says he bragged about killing Barbara Flake in the tiny West Virginia community of Jenkinjones, an impoverished and tightknit community in the state's southern coalfields.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perodicticus potto View Post
    What I find odd is that the body found on Trussell Hollow is still listed as unidentified with NamUs (last reviewed in 2011). An administrative error? Or were the forensic anthropologist's findings not considered definitive?
    I know, that's really annoying. I've found at least four other UID cases on NamUs where the remains were already positively ID'd. One was a couple who died in a mobile home fire fairly recently; I googled for more info and found their names and ages and learned that they had been dropped off at the trailer by a relative shortly before the fire. The news article was dated the very next day after the fire. WTH? Sent the link to the case manager, and she responded that the info in the article was correct and those UID profiles would be de-activated.

    I think a gentle nudge via e-mail would probably get Ms. Flake's UID profile de-activated as well.

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