LATEST: Dunbar sentenced to life with mercy

Greenbrier County
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UPDATE 2/26/2019 @ 9:30a.m.: A plea and sentencing hearing was held in a murder case that began a little more than a year ago. Thomas Dunbar pleaded guilty on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 to a charge of First Degree Murder.

Dunbar killed Shaela Lynn (McCoy) Abren, 32, of Webster Springs.  She was found dead in a wooded area of Greenbrier County on Jan. 18, 2018, according to Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Deputies.

Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Via told 59 News Dunbar was sentenced to life in prison with mercy. He is eligible for parole after 15 years. 


UPDATE 1/29/2018 @ 4 p.m.

Deputies in Greenbrier County revealed the identity of a man they believe to be a suspect in the death of Shaela McCoy Abren.  Thomas Ray Dunbar, 37, of Frankford was arrested on Saturday. Jan. 20, in Charleston for unrelated charges.  He has been held in the South Central Regional Jail since that time. Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan said the Charleston Police Department’s assistance has been crucial in the investigation.

While investigating the death of Abren, information developed that Dunbar may have been involved with a shooting that happened near the GoMart on Harper Road in Raleigh County on Dec. 17.  Deputies in Greenbrier and Raleigh County shared information which led to a charge of wanton endangerment against Dunbar for his alleged involvement in that shooting.

Sheriff Sloan offered his thanks to both the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office and the Charleston Police for their outstanding contributions.  He said the level of cooperation has been unparalleled.

Dunbar is being held on $50,000 bond for the charges in Kanawha County.  He also has a $50,000 cash only bond for the charges in Raleigh County.

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UPDATE 1/29/2018 @ 10:25 

Investigators tell 59 News a woman who was found murdered in Greenbrier County is connected to a shooting that happened in Raleigh County back in December. 

Shaela Lynn (McCoy) Abren, 32, of Webster Springs, was found dead in a wooded area of Greenbrier County on January 18, according to Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Deputies. 

Deputies with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s office confirm Abren was wanted for questioning after a reported shooting at the Go Mart on Harper Road in Beckley on December 17, 2017. Deputies said they do not believe the shooting is connected to Abren’s death. 

A second body was also found in the same area.  Deputies have identified the victim as Chastity Faye Hamm, 24, of White Sulphur Springs.  Deputies said Hamm’s death was consistent with Shaela Abren.


10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 UPDATE

Investigators tell 59 News a second body was found near the Blue Bend area. 

Sheriff Bruce Sloan said the body was found in a shallow grave in a wooded, mountainous area of Monongahela National Forest property on January 20, 2018. The body has been identified as Chastity Faye Hamm, 24, of White Sulphur Springs.  

Sheriff Sloan said Hamm’s death was consistent with Shaela Abren.  The results of the investigation show that Hamm was murdered before Abren. 

Deputies do have a suspect in custody on an unrelated charge, but his identity has not been released at this time. 

Stay with 59 News on this developing story. 


9 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 UPDATE

Investigators have released the name at a person who was found dead in the Blue Bend area of Greenbrier County on Thursday.  The victim was identified as Shaela Lynn (McCoy) Abren, 32, of Webster Springs.  Deputies said she had mostly recently lived in Raleigh County.

An autopsy of Abren’s body determined the cause of death was homicide.  According to Sheriff Bruce Sloan, a suspect is in custody on an unrelated charge.  The name of the suspect has not been released.  The investigation is still ongoing.

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GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Investigators are on the scene of a homicide in Greenbrier County.  That was confirmed by Sheriff Bruce Sloan at around 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.   According to dispatchers, law enforcement officers were called to a home on Anthony Road at around 11:44 a.m.

Details on the investigation are limited at this time.  The house is located about 10 miles up Route 92 from White Sulphur Springs.  When investigators arrived, the victim was found dead  Deputies began checking the woods surrounding the property for evidence as well as an SUV that was located on the property.

“At this point in time, the body will be transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Charleston for an autopsy.  The investigation is ongoing, and we will obviously await the results of the autopsy tomorrow,” said Sheriff Sloan..

59News has a crew on the scene and will have more details on the investigation as they become available.

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