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Woman arrested in Summersville human remains case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Police in Nicholas County have arrested a Summersville woman after finding human remains found inside an unlocked storage unit last week.

Wanda Faye Kiser, 61, was charged Thursday with two counts of concealment of a dead body, West Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said.

Police found the bodies of two women inside Kiser's storage unit in Summersville on Aug. 14. Experts from Washington, D.C., are working to identify the remains.

Alabama authorities issued a warrant for Kiser's arrest on July 9 on 10 counts of forgery. Kiser allegedly had cashed retirement checks belonging to 105-year-old Mary Cobb and 84-year-old Wynona Delvecchio, both of Jasper, Ala.

Alabama authorities said Kiser checked the women out of a nursing home there in 2000. They were reported missing in 2003.

West Virginia State Police arrested Kiser in Summersville. Alabama authorities questioned her there and Kiser told them she did not know the missing women's whereabouts, according to a criminal complaint filed in Nicholas County Magistrate Court.

Kiser was released from jail on home confinement.

According to the criminal complaint, on Aug. 14, the owners of a storage unit that Kiser rented noticed drag marks leading to and from the unit. The owners thought the markings were strange because the unit had remained untouched for a long time. Kiser began renting the unit in 2008, the complaint states.

The owners opened the unit, which was unlocked, and immediately discovered human remains, according to the criminal complaint.

State Police troopers arrived and executed a search warrant. Inside an open box, police found a complete skull, a partially intact skull, human hair, a leg and a foot, according to the complaint. Police reportedly also found a large amount of paperwork belonging to Cobb and Delvecchio.

Troopers determined that Kiser had been permitted to leave home confinement on at least nine occasions, including a trip to the storage facility.

Kiser tried to commit suicide by taking prescription pills before police could arrest her, Baylous said. Paramedics took her to Summersville Regional Medical Center and she was released Thursday. She was then arraigned in Nicholas County Magistrate Court and ordered held in the Central Regional Jail.

West Virginia troopers are cooperating with Alabama authorities in the investigation, Baylous said. Alabama authorities had not requested Kiser's extradition as of Thursday evening.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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