PARKERSBURG - For two Parkersburg men charged with concealing a dead body, the next step is expected to involve the Wood County grand jury.
Arthur Allen Thornton, 42, 3509 Sixth Ave., and Victor Lee Thompson, 34, 906 1/2 Tygart St., each had preliminary hearings scheduled Monday in Wood County Magistrate Court following their arrest and arraignments on Sept. 21.
Parkersburg police reported Brandy Marie Adams, 25, was found Sept. 20 in the trunk of her vehicle at the Seventh Street Car Wash. The use of illegal drugs contributed to the victim's death, police said.
At the start of both hearings Monday afternoon, each man waived his right to the preliminary hearing and the cases were bound out of magistrate court to Wood County Circuit Court for grand jury consideration.
Thompson appeared before Magistrate Robin Waters and Thornton appeared before Magistrate Brenda Marshall.
Thompson waived his hearing on one felony count each of concealment of a deceased body and conspiracy to commit a felony. Thornton waived his hearing on the same charges, along with four counts each of forgery and uttering, all felonies, from a separate case.
Both men remain in custody at the North Central Regional Jail, Thompson on $150,000 bond and Thornton on $154,000 bond.
A third defendant in the case, Crystal Dawn Smith, 38, 1614 Seventh St., Parkersburg, was arrested Thursday on the same felony charges of concealment and conspiracy and is being held on $150,000 bond.
Smith's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday before Magistrate Joyce Purkey.
According to court records, Smith, Thornton and Thompson allegedly conspired to move Adams' body from the place of her death, 57 Meadowbrook Trailer Park, by placing it in the trunk of a vehicle and transporting it to the car wash on Sept. 20.
Sgt. Greg Collins, spokesman for the Parkersburg Police Department, said Monday the investigation remains in a holding pattern until toxicology reports become available.
Adams' body was sent to the state medical examiner in Charleston with no obvious cause of death discovered during the examination, police said. Toxicology reports are pending, but are not expected for several more weeks, officials said.