By Bob Weaver

Eighty-seven-year-old Edward Barrera was found dead at his residence near Orma Tuesday, officials indicated he could have been deceased about two weeks.

Barrera's body was reportedly discovered by a neighbor inside his residence along Rt. 16 south of Arnoldsburg, where he lived by himself.

A pit-bull, one of a large number Barrera was breeding, was also found dead in the house.

Calhoun's Animal Control Officer Bob Groves said another five pit bulls were discovered dead outside.

Groves said 26 other pit bulls, all chained, are being fed and watered and are recovering. "They seem to be doing o.k.," he said.

Groves said he contacted a PETA group [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] from Norfolk VA, who say they are coming to the county to remove the animals and care for them.

Editors note: PETA later declined to remove the animals.

"PETA has contacted a Jackson County vet who will be here Thursday to evaluate or treat the animals," Groves said, having been to the property several times in the last 24-hours.

"With the help of a neighbor, the six deceased dogs have been buried. It has been a very sad and difficult situation," he said.

Following the discovery of the man's body, Sgt. O. S. Starsick and Trooper J. E. Kincaid responded to the scene and Medical Examiner Stacy Harlow was contacted.

Barrera, a retired IBM employee who had moved to Calhoun, was one of the oldest West Virginians to be charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Jackson County authorities arrested Barrera in June with about one-and-one-half pounds of marijuana.

He had been released on $35,000 bond.

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