The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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April 26, 2014

Body found on Wyoming County property identified

Owner Oscar Combs Sr. and son currently in jail on unrelated murder charges

— Skeletal remains found in a shallow grave near the edge of Wyoming County have been identified, officials said Friday.

Teresa Lynn Ford, 39, of Matoaka had been missing for nearly a year. She was last seen in the Hiawatha section of Mercer County.

“Following the execution of a valid search warrant, and using scientific identification methods, including dental records, the identity of the remains found has been determined,” Wyoming County Prosecutor Mike Cochrane said. “She was last seen on May 13 of 2013 in the Hiawatha area. Her next of kin has been properly notified.

“We’ll have further comment as the investigation continues. We’re not releasing the cause of death at this time.”

The remains were found on the property of Oscar Combs Sr. in the area of Bud on April 10, Cochrane said.

Combs, 44, of Bud, and his son Oscar Combs Jr., 21, are being held without bond in Southern Regional Jail on first-degree murder charges in connection with the killing of James “Bo” Butler of Summers County in 2011.

The Combses were arrested in November of last year.

Cochrane said the investigation into the Butler slaying is unrelated to the death of Ford.

Police told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, however, that Ford’s death is being looked at as a possible homicide.

Cochrane says no other charges are being filed against the Combses at this time.

If anyone has information about Ford’s disappearance, they should contact their local law enforcement office, Cochrane said.

Tips can be left with the West Virginia State Police Detachment in Princeton at 304-425-2101.

— E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com

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