The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 27, 2013

State Police make murder case arrest

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter

— West Virginia State Police arrested a Fayetteville man Wednesday for the murder of a missing 24-year-old Scarbro woman.

William Frederick Cody, 63, admitted to police Monday that he’d murdered Santanae Byers, with whom he reportedly had a relationship, according to First Sgt. G.A. Duckworth.

Duckworth said Byers’ mother, Dawn Miller, filed a missing persons complaint Monday at the Oak Hill detachment. Miller told officers that her daughter had last been seen with Cody.

Trooper J.L. Milam interviewed Cody Monday, but Cody denied that he was involved with Byers’ disappearance, Duckworth said.

“He was interviewed again (Tuesday), at which time he admitted that he had killed Ms. Byers,” said Duckworth.

Cody allegedly told troopers that he’d disposed of Byers’ body in an outbuilding on Blaketown Road in Greentown near Hilltop.

According to Duckworth, police searched the building and found the body of a white female that is consistent with Byers’ description.

The body was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification, he added.

Duckworth said Cody discussed his motive with officers, but that information was not released Wednesday.

Additional witnesses are being sought, and the investigation is ongoing, he said.

Cody was arraigned before a magistrate on a charge of first-degree murder and transported to Southern Regional Jail.

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