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Police: Body near Beckley might be missing Marmet man

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County sheriff's deputies say a body found in a shallow grave near Beckley on Wednesday might be that of a Marmet man who has been missing since Sept. 23.

"There's a strong possibility" that the body found near an abandoned house along Harper Heights Road in Beckley is Kareem Hunter, said Cpl. Brian Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.

Hunter was last seen in Marmet.

Kelsey Marie Legg, 20, also of Marmet, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Hunter's disappearance.

Legg allegedly tried to kidnap Hunter, 28, after luring him to her apartment in Marmet.

Legg's brother told authorities he heard a disturbance at the apartment the night Hunter disappeared, and later saw two men carrying a boy as if to load it into a car, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Hunter's parents have criticized Marmet police for not doing more to find their son after a neighbor reported a disturbance there. Marmet Officer Karl Vangilder responded to the call and told the Gazette he didn't see any signs of foul play when he got to the apartment.

Authorities reportedly later found a large amount of blood inside Legg's apartment. Legg was seen on security-camera footage buying supplies at Lowe's in Kanawha City, and she allegedly painted and laid new carpet at her apartment in an attempt to cover up the blood.

Deputies also found what appeared to be blood on the sidewalk and stairway leading up to the apartment, according to the complaint.

Humphreys said passersby discovered the body while searching the area with a metal detector. He said the body is being exhumed and will be sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office for identification.

"We may not know [the identity] until DNA comes back from the lab," he said.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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