Detectives have no leads in case of missing Melanie Metheny
Friday July 21, 2006
Investigators with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department this morning still had no leads in the search for a missing mother of three.
Detectives spent most of the day Thursday interviewing friends, family and other acquaintances who might have information in the disappearance of 21-year-old Melanie Metheny.
Investigators searched the Witcher Creek region in eastern Kanawha County until about 1 a.m. for Metheny, who hasn’t been seen for almost two days.
“We will continuously put forth an effort to find her until she’s found. We won’t stop until we locate her,” Sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Stover said this morning.
Metheny dropped off her children at Country Kids Daycare in Belle about 7 a.m. on Wednesday. When she didn’t return at 6 p.m. to pick them up and day-care employees couldn’t contact her, they began to worry.
Owner Peggy Keith said Thursday the mother has always been pleasant with employees and appears to take care of her children, ages 4 years, 2 years and 16 months. The children have been attending the day care for about a year.
Soon after day care employees couldn’t reach her, Metheny’s family contacted police. Family members suspect foul play. They’ve scoured the Kanawha Valley for a sign of her gold and tan 1998 Chevrolet Ventura van, W.Va. license US8255, to no avail.
Metheny’s father, James, told reporters Thursday that Melanie’s boyfriend, Jared Davis, was the last person to see her on Wednesday.
James Metheny said his daughter stays with Davis part-time in Campbells Creek, but lives on Midland Avenue in Belle.
Stover said there are no suspects in Metheny’s disappearance at this time.
Metheny, a former student at Riverside High, is studying to enter college and become a nurse. Her father said she spends her days taking classes to prepare for a college-entrance exam.
Metheny is white, 5 feet 3 inches tall, with long, straight strawberry-blond hair. She weighs about 100 pounds and has brown eyes. Police said no one has described the clothes she was wearing.
“It’s hard to say what happened. You can guess a million different things. We don’t like to do that. We try to stay optimistic,” Stover said.
Anyone with information can contact the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office at 357-0169.
Police, family baffled by disappearance
By Anna L. Mallory
Investigators with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department were searching late last night for a missing mother of three.
Rescue crews and K-9 units scoured an area near Spring Fork Drive for 21-year-old Melanie Metheny.
Metheny hasn’t been seen for almost two days, and police spent Thursday trying to piece together what happened to her.
They said people’s tips led them to the region near Witcher Creek.
Metheny dropped her children off at Country Kids Daycare in Belle about 7 a.m. on Wednesday. When she didn’t return at 6 p.m. to pick them up and day-care employees couldn’t contact her, they began to worry.
Metheny’s family contacted police soon after. Family members suspect foul play. They’ve scoured the Kanawha Valley for a sign of her gold and tan 1998 Chevrolet Ventura van, to no avail.
“This has never happened,” said James Metheny, her father. “If she’s even going to be a couple minutes late, she’ll call somebody and tell them she can’t make it.”
Melanie Metheny’s boyfriend, Jared Davis, was the last person to see her on Wednesday, her father said.
He said she stays with Davis part-time in Campbells Creek, but lives on Midland Avenue in Belle.
Kanawha County Sheriff’s Lt. B.C. Stover said investigators are talking to all of Metheny’s family and friends, but have few leads.
He said right now they’re just trying to find out what kind of person she is.
Metheny, a former Riverside High student, wants to be a nurse and has been studying to enter college, her father said. She’s a quiet woman, he said, who spends her days taking classes to prepare for a college-entrance exam.
Metheny is white, 5 feet 3 inches tall, with long, straight strawberry-blond hair. She’s about 100 pounds and has brown eyes.
No one can say what clothes she was wearing last, Stover said.
About six months ago, another young woman went missing from the Belle area, Stover said. About a week later, she turned up after just spending time with a boyfriend.
Employees at the day care say they can’t believe that would be the case with Matheny.
Owner Peggy Keith said the mother has always been pleasant with employees and appears to take care of her children, ages 4 years, 2 years and 16 months.
The children have been attending the day care for about a year.
The two younger children are staying with their father’s mother and the 4-year-old is staying with his father. The family has yet to explain to them that their mother is missing.
“They’re too young,” said Donna Miller, their paternal grandmother.
Miller also said Matheny never would simply abandon her children. “Something has happened,” she said.
Anyone with information about Matheny can contact the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office at 357-0169.
To contact staff writer Anna L. Mallory, use e-mail or call 348-5163.
Missing Mom Still a Mystery
Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 ; 05:37 PM
There have been few leads since her van was discovered.
Story by Ben Thompson
Five weeks after a local mother disappeared, and she’s still missing.
Melanie Metheny dropped her kids off at daycare in Belle on the morning of July 19th, and she hasn’t been seen since. Family members have scoured the area around her Campbell’s Creek home. Investigators have chased down leads, but still nothing.
A few days after she disappeared, detectives found her mini-van on Charleston’s west side.
Metheney is 5’3″, about 100 pounds, and has long blonde hair.
If you have any information in the case, call the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department at 357-0169.
MySpace page for Melanie
Melanie Renee Metheny was born June 21 1985 she’s a wonderful daughter, sister, mother, niece and granddaughter. She has been missing since July 19 2006 and we her family are going crazy not knowing what has happened to her. We do know this … she has 3 lovely small children that were her whole life Ryan is 5 Nathan just turned 3 and Hannah is 1 there is no way in the world that she would have left those children of her own free will. The not knowing is the hardest part if there is anyone out there who knows anything please help us PLEASE . Melanie we love you and miss you so much
Leisa Wellington Melanie’s Aunt
In order to find out what happened to Melanie on Wednesday, July 19, 2006, we need to know what she was doing, feeling, thinking and struggling with during the last week she was in public view.
1. On Sunday, July 16th 2006, did ANYBODY see Melanie with her two children, Hannah and Nathan in tow, probably also in the company of her boyfriend, whom we will call JD? Melanie was out in public view that afternoon, in a picnic shelter
at Coonskin Park, where she left her signature on a roof beam. If you saw her, please try to give as much detail as possible about how she looked, (did she look well, not well, worried, happy, sad, emotionless?
What she was doing when you saw her, in whose company, was she by herself or
with the children and JD? ANY information will give us valuable clues as to the true nature of her disappearance.
2. On Monday, July 17th 2006, Melanie was with alone with her children all day, while JD was presumably at work. Melanie was alone with JD on Monday evening, supposedly for dinner and a movie. Look at the pictures in Melanie’s slide show? Did you see her with JD and without her children, or did you bump into them at a movie theater? Again, any impressions, observations, her appearance, demeanor, eye contact or lack thereof are important details, if we can fit them into with what we already know or suspect.
3. On Tuesday, July 18th 2006, all we know for sure is that her children were quickly dropped off at her apartment around 9 AM and Melanie was just getting out of the shower. She has never been a morning person, and she was not “ready to go” at 9AM in the morning, just 23 hours before she would disappear. JD’s truck was not there, so presumably he was at work. After this, we have many rumors and much DISinformation about Melanie’s last day in public.
So once again we are asking anybody who was in the Campbell’s Creek/Belle area on that Tuesday, from 9 AM to 5PM to remember if they saw Melanie, her children or even her van. If you did, any details will be more than we can trustingly accept at this time. All our other witnesses have changed their “testimony” two or more times.
4. We believe that Melanie came to a crisis point of some kind during the evening of July 18th, just 12 hours before she disappeared. Did she call anybody on her cell phone during any of these “last days?” Did anybody have any cell phone conversations with Melanie, from July 1st to July 19th, that they can share with her family (forced to do the police work, for reasons we can only guess about.)
5. Do you know anybody else, besides Melanie, who may have dropped off their children at the Country Kids day care between 7:40 and 8:00 AM on July 19th, 2006, the morning of Melanie’s disappearance?
Did anybody see her Chevy Van that morning anywhere and at any time? These seemingly minor details could break this mystery into pieces.
6. And finally, if you knew Melanie, her family would like you to share in all honesty, holding back nothing (except your identity, if you so choose) and tell us as much as you can remember about the LAST TIME you saw Melanie Metheny among us. What did she look like, what was she doing, how did she seem, what did she say, with whom did you see her, etc. etc.
Study her pictures well, if you never met her. You may have seen her and merely thinking about where you were and what you were doing two summers ago, mid-July, in the Charleston area, might just bring back to us something of this beautiful child of God missing for so long. If you know Melanie, then how could you NOT want to be honest about the last time you saw her?
Please help and do this SOON!
May God bless your efforts to remember,
From the family and friends of Melanie Metheny
Here is the newest article from the Charleston Gazette –
A year and a half after vanishing, mystery — and sorrow — only deeper
By Gary Harki
February 24, 2008
Donna Harper remembers being in the emergency room when Melanie Metheny gave birth to her son Nathan.
Metheny has been missing since July 19, 2006. The 21-year-old Belle woman’s van was found four days later on Charleston’s West Side, but no trace of her was ever discovered.
Harper, the grandmother to two of Metheny’s three children, remembers that when Nathan was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and the doctor had to cut the cord, sending blood everywhere.
“You don’t know what happened,” said Harper. “It hurts. You lay in bed at night and you don’t know if she was tortured, if it came swiftly.”
You don’t even know for sure that Metheny died, Harper said.
Metheny is now on the missing-persons Web site for the FOX television show “America’s Most Wanted.” Her case may also be presented on the show, said Kanawha sheriff’s Detective R.A. Lane.
The day Metheny disappeared, she dropped off her three young children – Ryan, now 6; Nathan, 4; and Hannah, 3 – at a day-care center in Belle about 8 a.m., Lane said.
Roughly an hour later, someone – Lane said he is not sure if it was Metheny – made a call from her cell phone to the auto-repair shop Wreck-A-Mended Paint & Body to talk about repairs for her minivan.
Then about 9:30 a.m., a second call was made from Metheny’s phone, this one to her voice mailbox.
At 6 p.m. an employee from the day-care center called Harper to tell her Metheny hadn’t picked up her children. Harper picked up the kids, two of whom she has had custody of ever since.
Metheny’s son Ryan is with his paternal grandparents, Harper said.
Metheny had been broken up from Harper’s son Matthew for several months before she disappeared and had a new boyfriend, Jared Davis. Still, Harper said, she and Metheny remained close.
“Her and my son had two babies, and she lived here up until Matt broke up,” Harper said. “And after that, she would still stop by; we would get the kids every other weekend.”
Two days after Metheny disappeared, tipsters prompted rescue crews and K-9 units to search near Spring Fork Drive in the Witcher Creek area, but found nothing, Lane said.
Two days after that, police found Metheny’s missing gold and tan minivan on the West Side. Neighbors said the minivan had been parked there since at least 2 p.m. July 19. That’s when a woman first noticed it taking one of her usual parking spaces in front of her house, Lane said.
A ‘crisis point’?
Police have followed many leads that went nowhere, Lane said. They are now going back and interviewing everyone again, essentially restarting the investigation, he said.
One thing police would like to learn more about is a mysterious red sport-utility vehicle. Police said that on the afternoon of Metheny’s disappearance a witness on the West Side saw a woman inside the SUV struggling to free herself and yelling, “What about my babies?”
Police described the witness only as someone close to Metheny. Lane said police haven’t been able to find the SUV.
“Somebody knows something about Melanie and they are keeping a tight lid on it right now,” he said. “And we need closure. We need this thing to be solved. If anyone knows anything about her or her disappearance and they want to remain anonymous, they will remain anonymous.”
Friends and family of Metheny’s have set up a Web site, http://www.findmelanie.com, which offers a $5,000 reward for information that solves the mystery. The Web site also gives a detailed timeline of the days before the disappearance.
About 12 hours before Metheny disappeared, the Web site claims, she came to a “crisis point.”
Lane said he had no information about Metheny suffering through a “crisis point,” though he said he has heard rumors about Metheny owing drug dealers $300. While Metheny did use drugs in social settings, he said, he doesn’t believe she owed anyone a large sum of money.
“That’s asinine,” he said. “She was saving to rent a house and get out of the apartment she lived in. She had money; it wasn’t a huge amount, but if she needed to, she could use it if she was in that much trouble.”
‘We need to find out’
Both Harper and Lane say Metheny was a devoted mom.
“Her family members and her friends have said that you always really saw her with her kids except when she went to school,” Lane said. “She would take them to their grandparents’ houses and let them see them. … She was a young woman that had three kids and wanted to make something out of her life and for her kids, to give her kids something she might never have had.”
Metheny was taking classes to prepare herself for college-entrance exams. She wanted to be a nurse, Harper said.
“With her being gone this long, reality sets in and it makes you think that something worse has happened to her,” Lane said. “Then again, you have hope that she is still alive out there. I mean, I’ve got hope.”
Harper’s mother died in November. Nathan and Hannah both noticed how sad their grandmother was.
“Little Nathan, he saw that I was upset and said, ‘Well, Mamaw, I already lost my mommy.’ It’s pitiful. It’s like a double hurt for me,” Harper said. “Wherever the truth lies, we need to find out what happened to her. This needs to come out. These children need to know.”
>chatter # 1 : hey babe
>CHATTER # 2: Hey
>CHATTER # 2: whats up
>chatter # 1 : nuthin .. wat are you doin
>CHATTER # 2: just layin round feeling bad
>chatter # 1 : why
>chatter # 1 : hangover ?
>chatter # 1 : lol
>CHATTER # 2: lol no I have an inner ear infection and i cant hear outta my ear ad its being like that 4 2 weeks and last night XXXXX beat me up
>again and it started bleedin
>chatter # 1 : damn
>chatter # 1 : whyd he beat you up ?
>CHATTER # 2: XXXXX and him came in drunk at 8am and I told them to be
>quiet and not to wake XXX and XXXX started cussin me told me not to be a
> bitch and told XXXX to shut me up
>CHATTER # 2: so mom flipped out
>chatter # 1 : youd think XXXX b mad @ him
>CHATTER # 2: he is moving in with mama for a while
>CHATTER # 2: nah never not one of his friend
>CHATTER # 2: friends
>chatter # 1 : damn
>CHATTER # 2: I know
>CHATTER # 2: im ready for bed already and I just got up
>chatter # 1 : lol damn
>CHATTER # 2: I am gonna run and crash sorry im not much of a talker
>chatter # 1 : its ok
>CHATTER # 2: atleast XXXXX is taking care of me tonight he went to
>wendys for me he should be back ina few.. I said I wish I had a number 2
>with cheeze sause and he took off..and he called me and was like what did
>u say u wanted I was like where are u and he told me
>chatter # 1 : awwwl
>chatter # 1 : how sweet
>CHATTER # 2: I know I went to take a shower and he just left
>CHATTER # 2: he is so good to me XXXXX
>chatter # 1 : well you better keep him
>CHATTER # 2: hey I heard a rumor about melanie last night and if I tell
>u u have to sware not to say anything
>chatter # 1 : i promise
>CHATTER # 2: the person who told me was friends with the person who
>done it and this is gonna be bad will u be ok
>chatter # 1 : yeahh i should be
>CHATTER # 2: they wont find her XXXXthe person said that they took her
>and burned her and they even put lime in her mouth to disolve her teeth
>CHATTER # 2: so there is nothing to find
>CHATTER # 2: dont say anything the person would come after me and XXXXX
>the one who told me made sure i swore
>chatter # 1 : i wont say anything
>CHATTER # 2: well worse the ashes are up winefred where everyone rides
>CHATTER # 2: they done it there and dumped the ashes
>chatter # 1 : thats awful wat in tha hell did melanie ever do to anyone
>chatter # 1 : yah kno
>CHATTER # 2: this person wants to tell the police but he is the only
>one who knows and the person who did it would know it wa him or that he
>told soeone and he has a baby too
>CHATTER # 2: so he wont say nuttin but he wanted me to tell michael and
>I said I couldnt
>chatter # 1 : Was it XXXX
>CHATTER # 2: he knows some but it wasnt him I sware
>chatter # 1 : what the hell did melanie ever do honestly
>CHATTER # 2: XXXXX is a snitch so he wouldnt tell him
>CHATTER # 2: he said she owned him 300 dollors
>CHATTER # 2: dollars
>chatter # 1 : wtf
>chatter # 1 : XXXXX XXXXX ?
>CHATTER # 2: I know I cried
>CHATTER # 2: no it wasnt him either the person who told me wouldnt tell
>me who but I am glad I couldnt deal with it
>CHATTER # 2: mel was my friend
>CHATTER # 2: I want to tell XXXXX but he would want to go investigate
>and tell the police and it would come back to me and the person who told
>chatter # 1 : its awful someone would even do that
>CHATTER # 2: I know
>chatter # 1 : XXXXX m. ?
>CHATTER # 2: yeah
>chatter # 1 : hes locked up right it wouldnt be a good thing to tell
>chatter # 1 : tell him i mean
>chatter # 1 : right now
>CHATTER # 2: he wanted me to tell him he said he deserves to know but I
>dont want to tell him
>CHATTER # 2: XXXXdont even later b/c only 2 people know other than me..
>him and the one who told me
>chatter # 1 : i wont i promise i wont tell anyone
>chatter # 1 : but its killin me b.c melanie didnt deserve none of this
>CHATTER # 2: it is just too serious
>CHATTER # 2: I know and her family need to know even tho it will kill
>them for some closure
>chatter # 1 : did they say nethin about them doin it in a trailor then
>burnin it down
>CHATTER # 2: I wasnt even gonna tell u but is driving me crazy
>CHATTER # 2: no he just said they burned the evidence and her
>chatter # 1 : i kno you can tell me and i wont say nethin but its gonna
>eat me up everytime i talk to XXXXX
>CHATTER # 2: he said they even shoved a 50 of coke down her throat and
>asked her if it was worth was she was gettin
>CHATTER # 2: so I know he wasnt lyin he knew too many details
>CHATTER # 2: XXXX he bawled like a baby and said I cant do anything and
>I want to
>chatter # 1 : well XXXXX told XXXXX b4 XXXXX XXXXX knew shit about
>CHATTER # 2: I tell u one thing the person who did is is friends with
>XXXXX XXXXX and XXXXX has no clue…
>CHATTER # 2: thats what XXXXX told me and XXXXX .. XXXXX didnt even
>CHATTER # 2: XXXXX told me that before I knew XXXXX
>chatter # 1 : did they tell you exactlly who did so i kno to stay away
>chatter # 1 : yeah m3
>chatter # 1 : me2
>CHATTER # 2: but I dont think XXXXX knows anything..
>CHATTER # 2: no I wanted to know
>CHATTER # 2: but he said it would be to bad to tell me b/c of his kid
>chatter # 1 : its prolly someone we know
>CHATTER # 2: that what bothers me
>chatter # 1 : what do you mean b/c of his kid n XXXXX
>CHATTER # 2: he hs a kid
>CHATTER # 2: and if it got out he told me it would be bad and b/c I
>have XXXXX if it got out I knew anything
>CHATTER # 2: he is just worried we got our kids to think about
>chatter # 1 : was the boy in on it
>CHATTER # 2: no
>CHATTER # 2: the guy came to this guy and told him b/c he had to tell
>CHATTER # 2: and now this one is stuck with this in his head and cant
>chatter # 1 : and now its stuck in our heads and we cant do nethin
>chatter # 1 : and you & i both kno if it was one of us melanie would do
>sumthin yah kno
>chatter # 1 : but i promised i wouldnt tell and i wont
>CHATTER # 2: if I thought for a second it wouldnt come back on e and
>him I would go to the police right now
>chatter # 1 : yeah
>CHATTER # 2: I would u have to believe I would but I cant
>chatter # 1 : i kno
>CHATTER # 2: if I ever hear that more people know I will b/c he wont
>know who told
>chatter # 1 : so they’re sayin that they would kill you n XXXXX ?
>CHATTER # 2: he didnt say that the person would but he said he wouldnt
>risk it b/c he did this over 300 dollars
>chatter # 1 : its awful
>CHATTER # 2: it scared the hell outta me last night
>chatter # 1 : i just wanna break down and cry
>CHATTER # 2: I did last night
>chatter # 1 : but that wouldnt help anythin
>CHATTER # 2: I just wish there was something of her to find, if u can
>handle it we can go up there one day when its warmer and just look I
>would be ok if we found something anything.
>CHATTER # 2: I mean it would kill me but I would be ok with calling the
>chatter # 1 : yeah but it prolly just kill me inside knowin that thats
>where she was yah kno
>CHATTER # 2: I know but if we found something anything I would tell the
>polie and I would say I heard a rumor and I wanted to look before I was
>brought into it
>chatter # 1 : yeah but tha chances are they might not believe us you kno
>& we’d get blamed for it
>CHATTER # 2: I dont think that would happen
>CHATTER # 2: I would just tell them the facts I was told this happened
>and was told not to say a word and I wanted to b/c I knew her and I had
>to see if there was anything to find so it wouldnt come back nothing then
>they knew it was me
>chatter # 1 : the police arent aloud to tell who said anything
>CHATTER # 2: but they will there is always someone who tells their wife
>or something and it goes from there
>CHATTER # 2: even XXXXX is a snitch in belle now
>chatter # 1 : i kno
>chatter # 1 : the other cop Cox got arrested
>CHATTER # 2: really
>chatter # 1 : yeah
>chatter # 1 : for domestic violence
>CHATTER # 2: I want to go up there one day maybe just e and u and look
>around find anything even burned places on the ground anything
>CHATTER # 2: when did that happen
>chatter # 1 : the other day
>chatter # 1 : im down to go whenever
>CHATTER # 2: wow
>chatter # 1 : its gonna be hard tho
>CHATTER # 2: I need to come down one day and we would have to go early
>but without a car or something if we can wait till the end of this month
>I will have moms truck and it will go anywhere
>CHATTER # 2: I know but like u said mel would lf it were us
>chatter # 1 : its gonna be even harder you kno when i talk to michael
>and hes dien to kno what happened to her
>chatter # 1 : yeah i kno
>CHATTER # 2: listen I sware if we find out anything XXXXX I will tell him
>chatter # 1 : k
>CHATTER # 2: if I talk then there is nothing to prove it they will come
>after us but if there is proof and they can arrest someone then I will
>feel safe talking
>chatter # 1 : yeah
>CHATTER # 2: I will sit his dad and step mom down too I sware..
>CHATTER # 2: soon as I get the truck we will go I will even get a
>chatter # 1 : ok
>chatter # 1 : but i seriously doubt if thats the truth theres anything
>CHATTER # 2: Ihave to run XXXXX is here and he will kill me for talking
>bout uit on the pc
>chatter # 1 : kk
>CHATTER # 2: call me in a few at the house
>chatter # 1 : ok i will if i dont forgetr
>chatter # 1 : forget*
>CHATTER # 2: ok
>CHATTER # 2: u kno w the number??
>chatter # 1 : yeah XXXXX got it
>CHATTER # 2: ok well dont even tell her b/c cam
>CHATTER # 2: u never know
>chatter # 1 : ok
>CHATTER # 2: if I hear anythign else u know ill tell u got 2 go
Melanie you’ve always been my baby girl since the day you were born and you always will be my little girl. You are the best daughter a Dad could ever ask for. PLEASE anyone help us we need Melanie home with us. We miss her and we are going crazy not knowing where you are. PLEASE anyone help us that can.
I LOVE YOU DADDY
Melanie is the best sister any brother could ever hope to have. We miss you so much. Please come home to us.
We love you so much
James and Michael Melanie’s brothers
Melanie I love and I miss you. Please come home to us
Donna Melanie’s step Mom
Melanie we love you and miss you so much. Please someone help bring Melanie home to us.
Aaron Chaz and Allison Melanie’s cousins