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Body Found In Lewis Wetzel Park

By Staff | Jul 21, 2009

The body of Craig Matthew Barth, 33, of Doolin Route, was found in this marked off area of Lewis Wetzel Park in the Steelton section of New Martinsville Tuesday morning. The incident remains under investigation by the New Martinsville Police Department.

The body of Craig Matthew Barth, 33, of Doolin Route, New Martinsville, was found Tuesday morning in Lewis Wetzel Park in the Steelton area of New Martinsville.

New Martinsville Police Department Detective Donnie Harris said a male called Wetzel County Hospital at 1:07 a.m. Tuesday and said a male was laying in the nearby park unresponsive and wanted someone to check on him.

Wetzel County Deputy Rob Scott, who was just leaving the hospital when the call came in, responded to the scene and found Barth was already deceased.

Barth’s body was in the grassy area between the parking lot and shelter beside the park’s playground. “The conditions of the scene indicate he was placed there; that’s not where he died at,” stated Harris.

He said there was no major trauma to the body and there were no indications around the scene such as tire tracks or debris.

“It’s suspicious, but I’m not necessarily looking at it as a homicide at this point and time,” said Harris. He is waiting for an autopsy from the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Barth’s body was taken to the Morgantown office of that state department. Harris expects to get initial results in the next day or two, but full results, including drug testing, sometimes take a couple months.

“How we treat the case ultimately depends upon what the state medical examiner’s office says,” explained Harris.

In the meantime, they are asking for the public’s assistance. Harris wants the male caller to come forth and discuss the case. Also, anyone who knows Barth’s whereabouts throughout Monday evening is asked to call the police department at 455-9100.

Scott was at WCH at the time of the call attending to an incident that involved a 62-year-old female who had accidentally shot herself in the foot.

The female, who the sheriff’s department is not identifying, had heard a noise outside of her residence on state Route 7 and went to investigate it. The .22 caliber pistol she was carrying accidentally discharged, injuring her foot. She was treated and released from WCH.