Human remains found in Bath County

Hot Springs, Va. –

Are the skeletal remains found in Bath County those of Beacher Ferrell Hackney? Hackney has not been seen since March 2009 when he shot and killed two of his supervisors at The Homestead. The remains were discovered Sunday evening and the investigation has been underway since early Monday morning.

Bath County Sheriff Robert Plecker.

“We re not looking for no one else,” says Plecker. “We’re looking for one man, in our county, that man. The surrounding counties do not have anybody, that we’ve contacted, missing for three years like the nature of what we’re looking for. We’ve got remains and evidence, but we don’t know until someone tells us male or female, how long, if they can even tell us cause of death with what we have. That’s how far out we are from this. Do I want it to be? Who wouldn’t want it to be, to clear this thing.”

The remains were found in woods on private property near the Lower Cascades golf course. The US Marshall Service, Virginia State Police, the Game Commission and the Bath County Sheriff’s Office have been working at the site collecting evidence. At the site on Tuesday, Sheriff Plecker and Bath County Deputies continued combing the area where the remains were found.

“We had guys yesterday, probably twenty plus agents, deputies, state police,” says Plecker. “We were elbow to elbow, raking leaves back by hand. Once we uncovered some stuff with that, we run the metal detector over it, run the metal detector over the leaves. That’s what we’re doing now going back over it. We’re in here actually getting hits on what we’ve already went over. I’m not going to say some of that’s new evidence, but we’re getting hits on stuff we’ve already covered.”

On Tuesday, small orange flags and ribbons indicated where items have been found.
“Some of the stuff we’re finding has nothing to do with the case, I can tell you that,” says Plecker. “It’s probably a frequented hunting area. We’re finding stuff, old fence, old spent shell casings from shotguns that are not even in question. So we’re finding stuff that’s obviously been here for awhile. Some of the detectors that we’re using goes six to eight inches deep. We’re not looking for stuff six to eight inches deep. We’re looking for stuff probably three years under the leaves, two to three inch depth. And that’s what we found basically, everything yesterday what we found and recovered was within that two to three inch depth range. I’m going to say sixty percent to seventy percent of what we recovered was not here prior to three years.”

Beacher Hackney shot and killed Ronnie Stinnett and Dwight Kerr in The Homestead’s kitchen the evening of March 21, 2009. In the confusion immediately following the shooting, he walked out of the hotel and disappeared. Hackney was featured on the national TV show America’s Most Wanted in an effort to gain clues to his whereabouts.

“At that time, we mainly done the search within that Homestead radius, where his vehicle was at” says Plecker. “At that time everything was based from The Homestead, south on 220 on both sides of that mountainous area. None of this area was ever even in question for search.”

On Tuesday Sheriff Plecker said the area where the remains were found was definitely not a campsite. He said there is no indication that it was used as a campsite.

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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