UPDATE: The victim’s name has been released. Her name was Janet Garrett.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an apparent homicide in the Oak Hill area. Sheriff Mike Fridley and Prosecuting Attorney Larry Harrah released the following information concerning this ongoing investigation:
At approximately 1:30 am on Sunday, April 16, 2017 notification was received through the Fayette County 911 Center that a female had been shot at a residence located at 105 1/2 Berry Street, just outside of the corporate limits of Oak Hill. Sheriff’s Deputies, officers from the Oak Hill Police Department and EMS personnel from General Ambulance all responded to the scene, arriving there within just a few minutes of the initial call. They found that a 48 year-old white female had died from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. Two other individuals inside of the home were unharmed.
During the preliminary investigation Detectives learned that two males wearing ski masks, one armed with a handgun and the other armed with a large knife, had forced their way into the residence. The male with the handgun shot the female victim in the chest, then both male suspects fled from the residence on foot. The female victim’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston, WV and an autopsy is expected to be performed on Monday.
There is no apparent motive for this crime. “The M.O. is somewhat similar to that of a home invasion robbery,” said Sheriff Fridley. “In this case however the suspects made no apparent attempt to search for money or drugs. They forced entry into the home, shot the victim and fled without saying anything.”
“There is very little additional information that we can release at this time,” said Prosecuting Attorney Larry Harrah. “We have notified most of the victim’s family but we are not releasing her name at this time.” This incident remains under investigation by the Detective Bureau of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with any information concerning this crime is urged to contact the Fayette County 911 Center at (304) 574-3590 or Crime Stoppers of West Virginia. You may also submit information through our Department Facebook page, “Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.”