dr marten 1460 Family of Cabell murder victim share their grief
“How could you do this?” Reynolds said. “How could you take away someone that was so loved? How could you take anyone’s life? What kind of human being does this?”
State Police say it is believed drugs are somehow connected to this case.
State troopers say almost everything about this case is out of the ordinary, including that the accused murderer got this all underway with a confession.
“The complexity of this is what’s really crazy,” said Sgt. Wellman.
That could be an understatement.
It’s not often that a murderer walks in and confesses before police even know there’s been a crime committed. But troopers said that’s exactly what happened Tuesday evening, when Brian Bragg claimed he stabbed and killed Sutphin.
“The whole situation is out of the ordinary, from the very beginning with him walking in and confessing,” Wellman said.
Bragg said the body is supposedly in his van.
About the same time, a call came Tuesday evening in that a van has crashed into a fence on Barker Ridge Road. Deputies found Sutphin’s body frozen solid inside.
A week earlier, on Dec. 28, that same van was allegedly involved in a hit and run crash on nearby Howells Mill Road. Bragg called in that day to say his van had been stolen, but he now claims Sutphin was already dead inside.
Bragg told troopers his van was parked at a home in the 7000 block of Big 7 Mile Road, about 3.5 miles from the crash site on Barker Ridge, home to Robert and Cheryl Nance, ages 39 and 33 respectively.
Investigators got more clues Wednesday, a day after the confession, when Sutphin’s girlfriend came to the hospital for treatment, saying she had been kidnapped, beaten and burned.
“I don’t know why she didn’t come forward sooner,” Wellman said.
Bragg said Sutphin was killed at a home in the 3000 block of Wilson Road, just south of Barboursville, home to Mark Duncan, who family say goes by the name Ryan.
Investigators have since arrested Duncan, 19, both Nances and Cynthia Bumgarner, 45, charging them with kidnapping and malicious wounding of the girlfriend.
While detectives say it’s related to the murder, only Bragg faces a charge on that for now.
“I don’t want to say right now all this leads to the drug problem but we did find some drugs recovered in the search warrant, so we do believe drugs are connected to this,” Wellman said. “The crime and the drug use in this area is getting out of hand. Huntington gets all the publicity for it, but it just goes to show you it’s out in the county too. It’s not just in the city. This whole area is bad.”
Bragg declined to be interviewed at the Western Regional Jail Thursday, as well as people inside both homes when we knocked on the door.
Troopers said more charges are possible as they and the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate. More arrests are possible, too, as they try to put all the pieces together.
Loved ones remember Michael Sutphin as a man who loved his family and never walked out without giving them a hug and kiss and telling them he loved them.
We met with Sutphin’s family late Thursday, so check back here for more from them.
Sutphin’s autopsy is expected to take place in the next day or two.
ORIGINAL STORY 1/3/18A Milton man is charged with murder after allegedly killing a man and hiding his body, West Virginia State Police say.