The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

May 9, 2013

W.Va. man charged in sex assault found dead

An ex-Army paratrooper with a history of mental issues who disappeared while serving home confinement has been found dead, authorities said.

Boone County Chief Deputy Chad Barker said Zarcus Gore, 27, of Danville, was dressed in camouflage gear and his face covered in paint when his body was found by on mining property near Lick Creek.

Barker told The Charleston Daily Mail   painkillers were found with the body, which was sent to the state medical examiner to determine a cause of death. Batteries, food and a handgun also were found.

Gore was charged in March with malicious wounding and sexual assault stemming from a January incident. He disappeared following a preliminary hearing on the charges on Thursday. He was serving home confinement as a condition of the bond he posted for the charges.

Barker said Gore took a handgun and money from his uncle’s home where he was staying and left. A turkey hunter discovered his body about two and a half miles from the home  Saturday. Deputies had searched for Gore over the weekend.

“With his training he was definitely a concern to us,” Barker said.

The Columbus Dispatch interviewed Gore in 2008 for a story about veterans dealing with wartime experiences. The Iraq War veteran, who served as a paratrooper in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, was seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder at a Veterans Administration hospital in Chillicothe, Ohio.

“I’m trying to get to where I can cope with society,” Gore told the Dispatch. “I’m having a lot of problems dealing with day-to-day life.”

Gore had fled the state when he learned of the charges in March. He was arrested in Chicago on March 22 and extradited to West Virginia.

A Danville man claims Gore and another man attacked him on Jan. 23, hitting and kicking him before taking him to Gore’s apartment where he was sexually assaulted, according to a complaint filed in Boone County Circuit Court.

An investigation into his death is ongoing.

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