Investigation Into Local Death Results In Arrest

A Weirton man was arrested Thursday for probation violation after failing to cooperate in the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation of the death of a Colliers man.

According to Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson, his department sought to question Bruce David Reinhardt, 22, of Weirton about the death of Patrick Thomas, 56, who was found dead in his Tent Church Road home on April 22.

Jackson said the sheriff’s department wanted to interview Reinhardt in connection with Thomas’ death. He said evidence found at Thomas’ home indicated foul play was involved but wouldn’t comment further.

Jackson said Thomas’ body was taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for an autopsy. He declined to comment on whether Reinhardt is considered a suspect in the case. Reinhardt is being held at the Northern Regional Jail, pending his preliminary hearing in Brooke County Magistrate Court.

Reinhardt was found to have committed a probation violation and refused to come out of a home on Holbert’s Run Road in New Cumberland on Wednesday, and members of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Response Team were deployed to remove and arrest him.

“In order to safely accomplish the arrest of the suspect, who refused to exit the residence, it was necessary for the SRT to deploy chemical extraction agents as well as pyrotechnics,” Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said.

Fletcher said the Chester Volunteer Fire Department was placed on standby because of the use of pyrotechnics, and the West Virginia State Police also were involved.

The Brooke County Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone believing they may have information on Thomas’ death to contact the sheriff’s office at 304-737-3660.