(10/26/2002)
By Bob Weaver

More than a week has passed since a mysterious body was discovered on Pisgah Ridge in a remote area near the Town of Clay. FBI and West Virginia State Police recovered the remains, taking them to Charleston for an autopsy.

The two agencies have been tight-lipped about the remains and have not asked the public for information regarding identification. Some local sources in Clay believe authorities know the identity of the body.

State Policeman Jay Powers commented earlier in the week, the unidentified body was likely linked to foul play.

An FBI SWAT team and State Police closed in and arrested a Tariff, Roane County man, Vincent A. Golosow, 41, and a Clay County man Richard W. Cummings, 35, of Ovapa on drug charges last Friday. The Clay Communicator reported Cummings was alleged to be a trigger man in a murder case last year.

Clay County Sheriff Harald Fields said his office knew nothing about the incident, and as far as he knew there was no dead body.

The Clay Communicator reported yesterday Clay Prosecutor Jeff Davis called the West Virginia State Police to inquire about the mysterious death. The official was reportedly told "None of your business" by State Trooper Ellyson, although the prosecutor advised the officer he was elected by the people and an officer of the court. He was then advised by another officer to "stay at arms length."

Rumors floating in the community link the body to drug dealing and may have come from a burned auto found near Ovapa. The vehicle was towed to the State Police headquarters in South Charleston with with an escort near the time the body was found on Pisgah Ridge. Other speculation says the dead body is linked to the arrests of the two men on drug charges earlier this week.

In another incident this week, a wrecked car was found at Ovapa in an area known to locals as "Murder Mountain." A man was rushed to the hospital where he died in surgery. The area is linked to the drug trade, according to the Communicator, and is geographically connected to the Grannies Creek area of Roane County.

Numerous other shootings, deaths and arsons have occurred in Clay during the past few months. The Clay Communicator says "Many people are worried for their safety," with the death of Chad Salisbury four weeks ago and more gunshots reported south of Maysel on Route 4 earlier in the week.

Several cars with police officers, some reports said six, were in the Pisgah area again Tuesday after a garbage bag behind Johnny Woofter's building emitted a strong odor. The bag contained a rotting deer carcass.

Andy Waddell, Editor of the Communicator, said it seems strange "We know little about the mysterious death seven days later," indicating a serious nature to the investigation.


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