WEST UNION - As relatives gathered at the Spencer home to mourn the deaths of three family members, law enforcement officials remained tight-lipped as they continued the investigation.
"We are still sorting things out," said the receptionist at the Doddridge County Sheriff's Department.
Wednesday afternoon the department issued a statement saying, "Due to the serious nature of this incident and the fact that juveniles are involved, the Doddridge County Sheriff's Department will not be releasing any additional information on its investigation."
The home of Fred and Dixie Spencer and their children on Mastons Road off West Virginia 18. The couple, along with a daughter, were found shot to death Monday evening. Their son, identified by media reports as Joseph, is in custody with three charges of first-degree murder pending. Relatives gathered at the home on Mastons Road Wednesday morning. (Photo by Jody Murphy)
"... We feel that the privacy and peace of the surviving family members is of chief importance through this ordeal," the fax stated.
Law enforcement officials have declined to identify anyone involved in the shooting.
Neighbors and coworkers identified the victims as Fred and Dixie Spencer, and their youngest daughter. The male juvenile in custody has been identified by the Charleston Daily Mail as the couple's younger son, Joseph Spencer.
The in-custody suspect in the slaying has three counts of first-degree murder pending.
The Spencers have two other children, a daughter who is a junior at Marshall University and a son who is a senior at Doddridge County High School, and numerous relatives in the area.
Many of relatives gathered at the home on Mastons Road outside West Union Wednesday morning to grieve and prepare funeral arrangements. Denny Venderlic, brother-in-law to Fred and Dixie Spencer, said family members did not wish to speak with the media.
"There is no story here," said an unidentified young man as vehicles drove up the gravel road through the gate leading to the Spencer home.
The chief investigator, Doddridge County Deputy C.W. Modesitt, was at the scene Tuesday and issued a statement saying more details "will be released as they become available."
Initially, sheriff's officials said it would be days before any additional information on the triple homicide would be released.
Doddridge County Prosecuting Attorney Brooke Fitzgerald flatly refused to speak with The News and Sentinel Wednesday. Fitzgerald's secretary said, "She's going to be in meetings most of the day."
On Wednesday, The News and Sentinel filed a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the criminal complaint. The person who answered the phone at the prosecutor's office declined to say if the office even had the criminal complaint, referring calls to the circuit clerk's office.
The clerk's office said it didn't have the complaint.
"We don't have anything criminal," the assistant said.
Dwight Moore, Doddridge County circuit clerk, said the county has had only two murders in almost 15 years. The county hasn't seen a homicide since the 2005 death of Mariah Keigley at the hands of her father David Keigley, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without mercy.