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Missing woman's body found; co-worker charged

Courtesy photo
Kelley's Mens Shop employee Kathy Goble, 62, disappeared on April 24, 2010. Police say her body was found in the backyard of a home in Chesapeake Wednesday morning.
Chris Dorst Charles Eugene March, 60, stands before Kanawha County Magistrate Ward Harshbarger as March is arraigned on a first-degree murder charge on Wednesday afternoon. Police say March strangled Kathy Goble on April 24, 2010 and buried her body in the back yard of his Chesapeake home. March and Goble worked together at Kelley's Men's Shop before she disappeared.
Kenny Kemp Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants speaks with State Police troopers in the front of a trailer where the remains of a woman were found.

Related story: Missing woman's discovery shocks co-workers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A co-worker of a Kelley's Mens Shop employee who has been missing for two years was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder after police found human remains in his backyard.

Kanawha County sheriff's deputies arrested Charles Eugene March, 60, of Chesapeake, and charged him with the slaying of Sheila "Kathy" Goble after picking him up for questioning at the men's store, said Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford.

Goble, 62, was last seen at Kelley's on April 24, 2010. Her son reported her missing two days later.

Rutherford said March told deputies that he strangled Goble at his home and buried her in his yard behind his mobile home at 12736 Ohio Ave., in Chesapeake.

The sheriff said Wednesday that March had been questioned on three occasions since Goble's disappearance. However, "we had no hard evidence to go out and get a search warrant until today," he said.

According to a criminal complaint in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, March told Deputy B.K. Carper and Detective S.D. Snuffer that he strangled Goble the night she went missing, wrapped her body in a blanket and put it in the bathtub. The next day, he told deputies, he cut up her body and buried it in the back yard.

March's son called authorities Wednesday after finding what appeared to be human remains in a shallow grave at his father's home. Chesapeake police, West Virginia State Police troopers and sheriff's deputies went to the house at about 11:30 a.m.

Chesapeake Mayor Damron Bradshaw said March's son first called city officials when he found what appeared to be human remains in a hole that kept collapsing in March's backyard. According to the criminal complaint, authorities discovered what appeared to be bones and a skull with hair wrapped in a bag inside the hole.

Goble and March were working together at Kelley's Mens Shop when she disappeared. State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said Trooper R.R. Cevera with the Quincy detachment made the connection between the two and notified sheriff's deputies that the body might be Goble.

Baylous said experts from the Smithsonian Institution are being brought in to help identify the remains.

Family spokesman Billy Herrald, a friend of Goble's two sons, said Wednesday that, until the body was found, the family was holding out hope that Goble was still alive somewhere.

Herrald said he would go into Kelley's Mens Shop from time to time, and people would always ask about Goble and seemed genuinely concerned about her disappearance.

"To hear that someone that worked at Kelley's is involved is shocking," Herrald said.

He asked that people respect the family in their time of grief. "The news is still fresh to them," he said, "so they would appreciate some privacy."

Goble's silver 2004 Honda Pilot was found abandoned two days after she disappeared at the 42-mile marker on Interstate 64, two miles from the Crooked Creek exit in Putnam County. Rutherford said deputies are still trying to piece together from March's statements how the car ended up in Putnam County.

Goble was last seen leaving the Southridge Centre Walmart the evening she disappeared. Police say she brought the items she purchased to a house on Kenna Drive in South Charleston. The last record police have of Goble is from 8:30 p.m. that evening.

At his arraignment Wednesday, March told Magistrate Ward Harshbarger that he did not want a court-appointed lawyer, and did not intend to hire his own. "I do not need an attorney, sir," he said.

Harshbarger had March fill out paperwork for a court-appointed lawyer anyway.

Staff writers Kathryn Gregory and Zac Taylor contributed to this report. Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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