CLAY COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Authorities have identified a body found in a burnt car Wednesday afternoon, and a man is now facing murder charges.
The investigation began when West Virginia State Troopers responded around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, to the scene of a car that had been on fire in the Widen area of Clay County. The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to the scene and Deputy State Fire Marshal Jason Baltic told 13 News a body was recovered from the vehicle.
Troopers say the burnt Chrysler 200 appeared to have been pushed over an embankment along Widen Ridge Road with charred human remains in the driver’s seat. According to WVSP, the vehicle belonged to and the remains have been identified as Darlene Faye Jackson.
According to state police, the victim lived with with her son, Johnny Dale Rogers, II, 34, in Widen, and troopers went to the residents to question him.
A criminal complaint states that Rogers initially told troopers his mother had dropped him off on Widen Ridge Road around 5:30 a.m. that morning to go turkey hunting before she drove to another residence to drop food off to another woman. He then allegedly told troopers he walked home around 7 a.m. and “began to worry” when his mother hadn’t returned that afternoon. Troopers say he then told them that he drove on his four wheeler and found his mother’s burnt vehicle, at which time he called his sister who contacted 911.
Troopers say after speaking with Rogers, they went to the home of the woman Rogers had told them his mother had gone to visit in order to verify his statement. The criminal complaint states the woman told troopers she had not spoken with Jackson in several months and had no knowledge of Jackson coming to her home that day.
Rogers was then questioned again, according to the complaint. Troopers say at this time, he allegedly admitted to shooting Jackson in the head with a .22 Magnum Rifle, pushing her vehicle over the embankment and setting the vehicle on fire with her inside before returning to their home.
According to the West Virginia State Police, Rogers, 34, is now in the Central Regional Jail on a charge of first-degree murder.