UPDATE: Man arrested, charged with murder, victim identified

Local - 2/13/2013 7:26 PM
UPDATE (5:00 PM):

Sheriff Randall Aliff said they have charged John Douglas New, 20, of Brier Creek on Tuesday night with the murder of Elaine Birchfield, 60, of Brenton.

Aliff said the investigation started just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, when a family member found Birchfield dead in her house on Shannon Mill Creek Road in Brenton. Birchfield returned home as New was burglarizing the house, and then he killed her.

Witnesses have been an essential part of the investigation, according to Aliff. "We had citizens coming forward with information that was certainly beneficial to us," he said. "They would give us the information and things they observed. Aliff explained one witness actually saw New at the hou se around 5:15 p.m. and identified him.

Local law enforcement agencies worked together to find New. "When anything goes on, everybody's just glad to work with each other, cause the primary importance is to get this person off the street as soon as possible, Aliff said. "And fortunately, we were able to do that."

Kenny Trent, a relative of Birchfield, said she was a kind woman. "She'd give you the shirt off her back if somebody needed it. She talked to everybody and got along with everybody."    

Trent said Birchfield was a mother and grandmother who lived by herself. He said was shocked by her murder.

New was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on a $100,000 cash bond. He faces charges in both Mingo and Wyoming Counties, including first degree murder, grand larceny and daytime burglary.


UPDATE (10:15 AM): Sheriff Randall Aliff said that they have charged John Douglas New, 20, with the murder of Elaine Birchfield Tuesday night.

According to Aliff, the investigation started just after 6:00 p.m. Tuesday when a family member found Birchfield deceased in her home and her truck missing.  Aliff said that New was burglarizing the home when Birchfield returned to her residence and she was killed.  The cause of death has not been released at this time.

A person in Gilbert spotted the wanted vehicle and called 911, that's when Gilbert Police arrested New. 

New is facing charges in both Mingo and Wyoming Countys.  The list includes: driving while on a suspended license, receiving or transferring stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon without a license, grand larceny, first degree murder, and daytime burglary.

Aliff said New confessed to the murder.  New is lodged in the Southwestern Regional Jail.  The investigation is ongoing.


UPDATE (2/13/2013): Police in Wyoming County said the search has been called off for a vehicle connected to a murder-robbery in the Brenton area Tuesday night.

Details are still scarce, but we do know that the incident happened off of Route 97 and that officials in neighboring Mingo County found the 1999 GMC Sierra truck in Gilbert.  One person was taken into custody sometime early Wednesday morning and is being held at the Southwestern Regional Jail.

Only one person was booked at that facility overnight.  He's currently only facing charges in Mingo County.

More details are expected to be released later Wednesday morning.


BRENTON - Police in Wyoming County need you to be on the lookout for a truck possibly involved in a robbery and shooting.

911 dispatchers say they want you to be on the lookout for a silver 1999 GMC Sierra truck with mudflaps that say "cowgirl up" the license plate has a horse and says "magic". Dispatchers say the Sheriff's Department and State Police are investigating an incident involving a shooting near Route 97 in the area of Brenton, details are limited at this time. Stick with newswatch as the story develops.


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