Investigation continues after body is found under car - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Investigation continues after body is found under car

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Murder victim: Debbie Dalton Murder victim: Debbie Dalton


New details on a story we brought to your first on 59News at Noon. A grizzly discovery, a woman is found dead and now the search is on to catch her killer.

All is quiet in this Harper Heights Community just days after a gruesome discovery.  The body of Debbie Dalton was found underneath a vehicle tucked in bushes near a home in Harper Heights. That was on Monday. But confirmation about Dalton's death did not come from State Police until Wednesday. When learning about her friend's death, longtime friend Traci Smith rushed to the scene in hopes to find some closure.

"My friend Debbie was murdered and I just for some reason felt like I wanted to see where she was murdered at. I don't know why she was out here, I don't know how this happened and we've been friends for 25 years and it just breaks my heart," Traci Smith said.

What's even more hearting breaking for those closest to Dalton is the violent way in which she died.

A source close to the investigation tells 59News that Dalton was shot twice. That was inside of the car. They said her body was than placed underneath the car and the car was driven all the way down the hill while dragging Dalton's body underneath. 59News also learned an individual from the scene snapped a photo put it on Facebook. According to Smith that is how Dalton's daughter found out about her mother's death.

"When they found the body someone had taken a picture of it and it was put on Facebook. Her daughter saw it and she couldn't tell it was her mother, but she could tell it was her mother's car. That's when she found out what she had saw. Facebook is no place for this kind of thing," Smith said.

Family and friends said Dalton loved photography and will be remembered as a devoted mother and grandmother.  The family has created a slide show dedicated to Dalton. It can be viewed here.

According to State Police, drugs may have been involved but could not confirm what kind of role they played in the murder. As of Wednesday afternoon, State Police have not made an arrest. Police said they do have leads. 59News will bring you more details as they develop.  

A murder that has captured the attention of the community is under investigation by the West Virginia State Police.

Troopers were called to 237 Easton Street in the Harper Heights area at around 6 p.m. on Monday.  When they arrived they found the body of a woman under a vehicle.  She was identified at Debbie Dalton, 51, of Lanark. Her body was taken to the State Medical Examiner in Charleston, where it was determined that she was shot to death.

59News sources said the Dalton was shot twice in the face.  The body was then reportedly put under the car, which was put in drive and allowed to roll forward.

State Police said that no arrests had been made as of Wednesday morning, but they are following up on leads.  Troopers said that drugs are believed to be involved in the case. 

Stay with 59News online, on Facebook and on the air for the latest details.