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Suspect in 4 West Virginia killings found dead
West Virginia Shootin Werm
This undated photo provided by the West Virginia State Police shows Jody Hunt, who authorities said was a suspect in three shootings in West Virginia Monday. He was found dead in his pickup truck Monday evening. - photo by Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia man suspected in four killings in separate shootings was discovered dead in his truck of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an hourslong manhunt, police said Monday.

Jody Lee Hunt, 39, of Westover, was found in the woods in the southern part of Monongalia County, inside his 2011 Ford F-150, according to state police. The vehicle and body were found about 7 p.m. in "a power line right of way," spokesman Lt. Dennis Johnson said.

Hunt was wanted in two shootings in the Westover area and another in the Cheat Lake area in Monongalia County, spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous said. Medical officials will work to confirm the identity of the body, he said.

Officials said they would not release further information Monday night. On Tuesday, investigators at each of the three crime scenes will "sit down and piece all those puzzle pieces together and find out how this all happened," Baylous said.

Earlier, he identified the two victims from the Cheat Lake shooting as Sharon Kay Berkshire, 39, of Westover, and Michael David Frum, 28, of Maidsville. Fewer details were available on the Westover shootings. Baylous said other law enforcement agencies were handling them. The Monongalia County sheriff's office released no information by Monday evening.

Berkshire filed a domestic violence case against Hunt last month, according to Monongalia County Circuit Court records. Court records indicated there were no protective orders currently in place for Berkshire.

Arlene Barnett of Westover said she was drinking coffee at her home when she heard four gunshots shortly after 10 a.m. at a nearby trailer where one of the victims lived.

"I didn't pay any attention to it because I thought, oh heck, it's deer season," Barnett said. "I thought they were deer hunting. I just went about my business and didn't connect anything. Then I heard the sirens."

Frum's aunt, Ellen Shafer, of the Cheat Lake area, said she knew few details about her nephew's death. She said Frum worked on detailing cars in Westover and did some construction work and other odd jobs.

"We were just saddened, and we're living with the realization of his death and coping the best we can," Shafer said.

State documents indicate Hunt owned J&J Towing and Repair LLC of Westover. A call to the business went unanswered Monday afternoon, and there was little activity there Monday.

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Associated Press writers John Raby in Charleston and Jonathan Mattise in Morgantown contributed to this report.

 

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