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COLD CASE NEWS Sometimes the passage of time is all a cold case -- one that has gone unsolved for years -- needs to generate heat.

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:45 PM
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ice Solving Area ‘Cold Cases’, WV

During the past half-century, law enforcement agencies have been unable to solve more than 50 murders or missing persons cases in our area. That is an average of one unsolved case a year.

But someone knows something that may help solve each and every case. It is long past time for those with information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to step forward.

A small but dedicated and very talented group of area residents is betting that reopening cold cases from throughout the Northern Panhandle and East Ohio can lead to some of them being solved.

Ohio Valley Cold Cases was the brainchild of semi-retired journalist Fred Connors. As we have reported, Connors has been able to enlist active and retired law enforcement officers from throughout the area to work on the project.

Information on the organization and cases on which it is working can be found at the website. It includes information about 10 cases in Ohio County, 16 in Belmont County, 18 in Jefferson County, six in Marshall County and one in Wetzel County. One dates back to 1958, but most are more recent.

Although frustrated police and sheriff's departments closed the books on some cold cases, many still are open investigations. In a few of them, solid leads are being pursued.

But unless new help is received, some of the murders and missing persons cases will never be solved. Again, that information may seem insignificant - perhaps the color and make of a car seen near where a body was found or an off-hand comment made by a victim before he or she died.

Members of the task force are attempting to make it easy for area residents to help them. The website is one place to start. Tips can be submitted anonymously by e-mail, to Connors can be reached by telephone at 740-359-3599.

If you know something, please help. If you know someone who may have cold case information, urge that person to assist.

The cold cases are not mere statistics, not just old news. They are people like Benwood resident Anita Price, who disappeared in May 1974, or like Kerry Lynn Melnick of Lansing, whose body was found Aug. 2, 1983.

Some were victims of murderers still walking Ohio Valley streets - quite possibly still threats to the public.

Someone knows something that may help solve every one of the area's cold cases. If you are one of those "someones," we urge you to help the task force - now.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Solving Area ‘Cold Cases’, WV

Annita Maria Price
Missing since May 30, 1974 from Moundsville, Marshall County, West Virginia
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics
  • Date Of Birth: March 20, 1947
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 26 years old
  • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 6'0"; 155 lbs.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair; brown eyes.
  • Marks, Scars: Distinctive burn scars on left arm and torso from severe burns when a child. This may be apparent in her bone structure since this occurred when she was about 9 years old.
  • Clothing: Yellow shorts and a blue top.
  • AKA: Annita Maria Musto
  • DNA: mtDNA Available in CODIS

Circumstances of Disappearance
Price was last seen around 8:45 PM when she left to go to work at The Flamingo Club in Benwood, West Virginia on May 30, 1974. She never arrived at work and was never seen again.
The vehicle she was driving belonged to her boyfriend, and was described as a early 1970's AMC Sportabout (a four door Gremlin) green in color.
The vehicle was discovered the next morning sitting along West Virginia Route 2 which is the major north south route along the Ohio River between Moundsville and Wheeling, West Virginia. There was no evidence of a struggle, although some cosmetics, including lipstick and an eyeliner, were lying on the seat of the car. Annita's disappearance was not reported to police for three days.
Annita had been going through a divorce and there was a custody battle for her two children.
Authorities believe her disappearance is connected to foul play in some manner.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
West Virginia State Police
Sergeant Danny Swiger

Agency Case Number: AM-1940
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.Source Information:
West Virginia State Police
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The Intelligencer
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