The death of a woman in Montgomery, WV which was initially believed to be natural, was later revealed to be murder. Lewanna Sutphin, 67, was found dead in her home on July 18, 2015. The initial indication was that she died of natural causes, but a tip to police indicated that she might have died from an overdose of prescription morphine.
When officers with the Montgomery Police Department were made aware of the possible murder, they had the body taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston. The report came back showing the she had a “ridiculously large amount” of morphine in her system. Investigators said Sutphin did not have a prescription for morphine. Her son Gordon Ray Sutphin, II, who also lives in the home, was linked to the morphine.
Gordon Sutphin, II was arrested on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 and charged with murder. He was arraigned in magistrate court and taken to the Southern Regional Jail until a Circuit Judge could set bail.
“Homicides of the elderly can easily go undetected,” said Fayette County Prosecutor Larry Harrah. “If there is no indication of violence, it is quite easy to assume that it is merely a natural death. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Fortunately in this case we received information about this death in time to request that an autopsy be performed.”
The case is still under investigation by the Montgomery Police Department along with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau. Anyone with information about the murder is asked to contact the Montgomery Police Department at 304-442-4939 or the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 304-574-4216.