The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 23, 2013

Kiser arrested on illegal concealment of dead body charges

Storage unit was rented in Nicholas woman's name

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter

— A Nicholas County woman identified as a person of interest in an Alabama missing persons case was arrested Thursday on charges filed last week after human remains were found in a storage unit rented in her name.

Wanda Faye Kiser, 61, was charged then with two felony counts of illegally concealing a dead body after police discovered the remains of two bodies in a Summersville storage unit. According to the criminal complaint filed in Nicholas County Magistrate Court, Kiser had rented the unit in 2008.

But when State Police arrived to arrest Kiser on the concealment charges, she had taken “a bunch of pills,” and was hospitalized, according to Nicholas County Prosecutor James Milam.

Officials arrested her upon her release.

In Walker County, Ala., officials say they believe the remains are those of 105-year-old Mary Cobb and her daughter, Wynona Delvecchio, 84, who were reported missing in Jasper, Ala., around 2003.

The remains were taken to the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office, and experts from Washington, D.C., were called in to help identify them, Walker prosecuting attorney Bill Adair reported.

No further information on the identity of the remains has been released.

In the Nicholas criminal complaint against Kiser, Sgt. R.D. Lilly and Cpl. D.P. White wrote that she rented a Storall unit in 2008. The remains were found in that unit.

In July, Alabama officials charged her with 17 counts related to cashing Cobb’s retirement checks and Delvecchio’s alimony checks, officials reported.

Prior to her transport to Central Regional Jail on July 9 for fraud charges, Alabama officials interviewed her in connection with a missing persons case involving both Cobb and Delvecchio, who were reported missing around 2003.

Kiser denied knowing the location of Cobb and Delvecchio.

Kiser was released from CRJ and placed on home confinement on July 12. However, she was allowed out of her residence on at least nine occasions between July 12 and Aug. 14, according to officers.

On Aug. 5, the owners of Storall checked their units and discovered “no obvious changes.”

“However, while checking the units on Aug. 14,” troopers wrote, “the lawful owners discovered what appeared to be drag marks, where it appeared some object or objects had been placed into or out of said unit.”

The unit was unsecured, so the owners opened it and discovered what appeared to be a human leg, White had stated in interviews.

Upon investigation, police identified the remains as human and also discovered a skull, according to the complaint.

After obtaining warrants, troopers located the “female remains of two individuals” in the unit and “a significant amount of paperwork” that bore Delvecchio’s and Cobb’s names.

A second skull was found under Delvecchio’s Alabama home by a new resident in 2012, Alabama officials said.

Kiser and her husband were neighbors of Delvecchio in Jasper, according to Alabama officials.

Cobb and Delvecchio were reported missing around 2003, following a federal investigation into Cobb’s benefits from the United States Railroad Retirement Board.

Kiser was found guilty of wire fraud in federal court for receiving Cobb’s benefits. She was sentenced to serve three years’ probation and to make $10,000 restitution.