Death at Seneca Rocks May be Local, Likely Suicide

West Virginia State Police believe a body recovered Thursday at the Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area in Pendleton County is that of someone from the Northern Panhandle, possibly Ohio County.

First Sgt. J.B. Utt of the Elkins detachment said police are “90 percent sure” of the person’s identity, but they are waiting for word from the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston to make a final determination. Investigators are looking at the death as a suicide, and Utt said for that reason he doesn’t anticipate releasing the person’s name.

According to Utt, the person whose body police believe they found had been missing from the local area for quite some time, and he said the initial missing person report was taken by the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department.

State Police and the U.S. Forest Service responded to Seneca Rocks at about 1:45 p.m. Thursday. Utt said because of the difficult terrain, it took about eight hours to retrieve the body.

The Franklin, W.Va., detachment of the State Police is handling the investigation.