Bath Sheriff holds press conference on Hackney remains

Hot Springs, Va. –

On Tuesday afternoon, Bath County Sheriff Robert Plecker held a press conference about the discovery of the remains of Beacher Hackney. Hackney shot and killed two of his supervisors at The Homestead, Ronnie Stinnett and Dwight Kerr, in March 2009. Bath County Sheriff Robert Plecker:

“On Sunday September 2nd, 2012 two local residents reported to the Bath County Sheriff’s Office that while they were walking out of a wooded area near the Lower Cascades golf course, which is located approximately eight miles from The Homestead Hotel in Hot Springs. The men discovered the remains of a jacket lying on the ground. When they searched the pockets, they found a zip lock plastic bag holding approximately sixty rounds of what was later determined as .380 ammunition. They also found a badly rusted .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun and a man’s watch on the ground nearby. They then spotted what appeared to be a human skull on the ground about twenty feet away from the jacket. They left the scene and contacted the Bath County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene along with a Special Agent from the State Police. The two men took the officers back to the location where they found the items. A human skull and some bones that appeared to be human were found along with some additional clothing items. Due to the time of day, it was decided to secure the area overnight and conduct a search the following morning.”

“On September 3rd, a team of officers including Bath County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, U.S. Marshalls, members of the Alleghany Highlands Drug Task Force and Virginia Conservation Police were assembled to conduct a more thorough search of the area. The search team also included help from two cadaver K-9’s from the Blue Grey K-9’s. Several bones along with additional articles of clothing and personal effects were found in the area. All the recovered skeletal remains were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Roanoke.”

“On September 5th, several other bones were discovered approximately 250 feet from the area that had been searched previously. These items again were taken directly to the Chief Medical Examiner in Roanoke. Along with the remains that were found that day, a pair of trousers containing a wallet was also recovered. Inside the wallet, investigators found Beacher Hackney’s Homestead employee identification and his West Virginia license.”

“A Bath County Sheriff’s Office investigator contacted a family member of Beacher Hackney and obtained a DNA sample to assist in determining if the remains belonged to Hackney.”

“On September 14th, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science which confirmed that there was a match between the DNA from the recovered skeletal remains and a DNA sample submitted to the lab from a direct relative of Beacher Hackney.”

“On September 15th, myself and Major Bryan contacted the families of Dwight Kerr and Ronnie Stinnett to inform them of the results of the investigation.”

“At this time, the cause and manner of Beacher Hackney’s death cannot be determined. Furthermore, there is no evidence that would suggest Beacher Hackney committed suicide.”

Local medical examiner Dr. James Redington and a Forensic Anthropologist with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner also assisted in the search where the remains were found.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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