SPENCER - A Roane County man whose teenage daughter was missing for seven years before her body was discovered near the Wirt/Roane County line is seeking answers as to why her disappearance and death remain unsolved.
"They have refused us access for eight years," said Jesse "Moe" Starcher.
"I want to find out what happened and why the investigation took the role that it did."
Last month in Kanawha Circuit Court, Starcher filed suit against the West Virginia State Police, the Roane County 911 Center and the city of Spencer. Starcher is seeking to compel authorities to release documents related to his daughter, Christian Dawn Starcher Seabolt.
Seabolt disappeared in 2002. The 18-year-old Spencer woman was last seen Aug. 31, 2002, when she went out for a pack of cigarettes. Her remains were discovered in December 2009 on Groundhog Ridge, near Creston, along the Wirt/Roane County border.
Starcher said his daughter's remains were sent to the Smithsonian for examination. He said the remains are still there.
"We haven't been able to get a death certificate," he said. "It's been three years."
Messages left with West Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous were not returned.
Jesse Starcher, Seabolt's grandfather, is anxious to get things settled.
"It has been so long," he said.
"They will either give us the records or we will fight in court for it," Moe Starcher said.
Starcher thinks his daughter was murdered for attempting to report police corruption. He points to rumors of drug-related law enforcement corruption in Clay County.
"She was reporting it," he said.
Starcher said his daughter's claims did not sit well within the law enforcement community, including those with ties to Clay County.
Sometime after Seabolt went missing, Judd Reid, a friend of hers, was murdered. Starcher thinks law enforcement officials in Spencer had a hand in the deaths.
Alex Vince Golosow, a Roane County resident, was convicted of Reid's murder in 2004. He was sentenced to life without mercy. State police had previously acknowledged Seabolt was at least acquainted with Golosow.
Starcher thinks his daughter was beaten to death by a group of people. According to Starcher, Seabolt's nose was broken.
When asked if Seabolt's remains would show signs of beating, Starcher said no. He said the deterioration of the bones, which were exposed to the elements for about eight years, played a factor in what could and could not be determined in Seabolt's death.
Starcher said he spoke with Dr. Doug Owsley, a forensic anthropologist with the Smithsonian. According to Starcher, Owsley told him there was no way to determine Seabolt's cause of death. Aside from some rope and duct tape found near Seabolt's remains, there was nothing that could be used in an investigation, Starcher said.
Messages left with Owsley to confirm his conversation with Starcher were not returned.
Starcher said once the family obtains a death certificate it's likely to lead to a wrongful death suit against the West Virginia State Police, Spencer and the 911 center.
"It is not about the money for me. I told the lawyer I'd give the money to start a memorial for her to a good cause. ... I want justice for what happened to her."