Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chester, WV: Hancock Co. man faces murder charges in connection with girlfriend's death

By Kelly Camarote and NEWS9

A Hancock County man is facing murder charges and attempted arson charges after his girlfriend was found dead in their home earlier this year.

Adam McCloud, 34, is accused of causing 37-year-old Sara Williams' death, then trying to cover it up by setting their Chester home on fire in January.

A police officer who went to the couple's home at 919 Phaeton Ave. after Williams' co-workers reported she didn't show up for work noticed a strong odor of gas in the area and called the fire department.

Emergency crews found Williams dead and McCloud unconscious inside the home. McCloud was transported to East Liverpool City Hospital and was just released on Monday.

"I don't know exactly what was wrong with him. I don't know if it was injuries sustained from the case up there or if there were other underlying causes," Chester Police Chief Ken Thorn said.

Officers said they suspected something wasn't right when they showed up at the home, and Thorn said investigators were confident that day and now in charging McCloud with Williams' death.

"I've had two guys diligently working on it, and we've got to the point now where the prosecutor confirmed … that we have enough evidence to file charges," Thorn said.

Thorn is said this is the second possible homicide case to hit the city in roughly 20 years.

"It's definitely out of character for our city," Thorn said.

Investigators would not say where they found Williams and McCloud in the house or any other details about how Williams died, saying they do not want to jeopardize the case in court.

Thorn said a police presence at the home was not common.

"The only other call that we know that was up there was there was a medical call up there approximately two weeks before the death," Thorn said. "The male party was transported to East Liverpool City Hospital. It was uneventful basically except for the fact that he was transported."

Neighbors said the couple moved into the home less than a year ago and kept to themselves and, after the incident, they expressed concern to investigators and to NEWS9.

Thorn said, "A lot of it was trying to calm the residents trying to make them believe that they didn't feel like there was someone on the loose."

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