Kanode told officers he dumped Payne's body over a fishing barge onto the bank of the Kanawha River, where she was located Monday afternoon.
Earlier Friday evening, authorities responded to a domestic complaint involving the couple. Both were taken into custody during the incident -- Kanode for an outstanding battery warrant and Atkinson for public intoxication, Bailes said.
Police say the two had been in a relationship for more than three years. Kanode told officers they met while Payne was prostituting herself in Jefferson.
Bailes said he couldn't speak about Kanode's criminal history, but said Dunbar Police has responded to his residence before.
The investigation currently shows Payne's body was dumped where she was found, Bailes said. Police do not believe anyone else was involved in Payne's death at this time.
Originally two South Charleston High School students told a bus driver that they thought they saw a body in the river. The bus driver notified the South Charleston Police Department, which found the body.
Kanode is being held without bond in the South Central Regional Jail. Only the 13th Judicial Circuit Court can set bond, according to Magistrate Tim Halloran. A preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 19.
Police from Dunbar, South Charleston and the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation are investigating the death.Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.mole...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.