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  • Writer's picturemark covey

The Mysterious Death Of Judith Petty

Updated: May 28, 2023

ON WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 6TH 2008 AROUND 5PM 

48 YEAR OLD JUDITH PETTY (WHO ALSO WENT BY JUDY SO I WILL CALL HER JUDY FROM HERE ON OUT). LEFT HER GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE TO RETURN SOME BOOK AND DVDS TO THE LOCAL LIBRARY. 

INSTEAD OF DRIVING SHE DECIDED TO WALK THE 7 MILES TO THE WOOD COUNTY LIBRARY.

BY 8 PM WHEN JUDY HAD NOT RETURNED HER FAMILY STARTED TO WORRY. THE PETTY FAMILY CONTACTED THE LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT AND STARTED A SEARCH OF THEIR OWN. 

SADLY THAT NIGHT THEY COULDN’T FIND JUDY.


JUDY’S REMAINS WERE FOUND TWO DAYS LATER IN THE BASEMENT OF A CELLAR ON HER FAMILY'S FARM 13 MILES AWAY FROM HER GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE. 


THE HOUSE AND SURROUNDING BUILDINGS BURNT TO THE GROUND. THE FIRE WAS SO HOT THAT WHAT STARTED THE FIRE IS STILL UNDETERMINED TO THIS DAY. 

NO ONE KNOWS WHY OR HOW JUDY ENDED UP ON THE FAMILY FARM. 


NOT MUCH IS KNOWN ABOUT THE FINAL HOURS OF JUDY’S LIFE. 

ONE THING THAT IS KNOWN IS THAT JUDY WAS SEEN WALKING ON LAUREL CREEK ROAD AS THE SUN WAS SETTING. 

EVERYONE KNEW JUDY LOVED TO WALK AND THAT SHE PREFERRED IT OVER DRIVING EVEN THOUGH SHE DID HAVE A CAR BUT BY 8:30 JUST 3 HOURS AND 30 MINUTES AFTER JUDY LEFT HER FAMILY GOT WORRIED. 

KNOWING JUDY DIDN’T HAVE HER CELL PHONE AND THAT SHE WAS A DIABETIC THEY WERE AFRAID THAT SHE HAD A HYPOGLYCEMIC ATTACK WITHOUT ANYWAY OF CONTACTING THEM.


AROUND 10PM JUDY’S FAMILY CONTACTED THE PARKERSBURG POLICE DEPT TO FILE A MISSING PERSONS REPORT. SHOCKINGLY THEY WERE TOLD THAT NO REPORT COULD BE MADE UNTIL IT HAS BEEN 24 HOURS.

WITH HER FAMILY BEING TOLD THAT THEY DECIDED THAT IT WAS BEST FOR THEM TO GO OUT AND SEARCH FOR JUDY.  

STARTING AT HER GRANDMOTHER'S HOME THAT WAS LOCATED ON 36TH STREET BETTER KNOWN AS OLD SAINT MARYS PIKE. 

HER FATHER KNEW IT WAS BASICALLY DIRECT ROUTE TO THE FAMILY FARM HE CONCENTRATED HIS SEARCH TO THE EAST. 

FOR HOURS JUDY'S FATHER DROVE THE BACKROADS OF PARKERSBURG THAT WOULD LEAD TO THE FAMILY FARM. HE ACTUALLY STOPPED AT THE GATE TO THE FARM A FEW TIMES. NOT SEEING ANYTHING OR ANY SIGNS OF JUDY HE DECIDED TO NOT DRIVE UP TO THE FARM. 

HE CONTINUED DRIVING ON THE BACKROADS UNTIL AROUND 2AM. 


AT 7AM THE NEXT MORNING JUDY’S FATHER DECIDED TO DRIVE THE BACKROADS AGAIN. ENDED UP AT THE GATE OF THE FARM AGAIN. HE DECIDED HE WOULD TRY TO DRIVE UP TO ROAD. HE MADE IT ABOUT HALF WAY BEFORE HE HAD TO PARK HIS TRUCK AND MAKE THE REST OF THE TRIP ON FOOT. 

WHEN HE MADE IT TO THE TOP OF THE HILL HE SAW THE FARM HOUSE AND CELLAR HAD BEEN CONSUMED BY A FIRE. 


MR.PETTY RAN TO A NEAR BY HOUSE TO GRAB A CELL PHONE AND RAN BACK UP THE HILL TO CALL 911 


IN AN INTERVIEW THE PODCAST SAFE HAVEN - THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF JUDITH PETTY HER FATHER SAID THERE WAS NO CELL SERVICE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL SO HE HAD TO GO BACK TO THE TOP WHERE THERE WAS SERVICE. 

 

 NOT TOO LONG AFTER HE CALLED ALL UNITS BEGAN TO ARRIVE AT THE FOOT OF THE HILL. SADLY WITH THE WAY THE DRIVE WAS IS IT WAS BASICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE FIRE DEPT AND OTHERS TO MAKE IT UP THE HILL. 

USING A BRUSH TRUCK A FEW FIREFIGHTERS WERE ABLE TO MAKE IT UP THE HILL. HOWEVER THEY BASICALLY TOLD THE PETTYS THEY JUST HAD TO LET THE FIRE BURN OUT. 

JUDYS FAMILY COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY COULDN'T FIGURE A WAY TO HOOK A HOSE UP TO SOMETHING AND GET WATER OUT OF THE POND THAT WAS BEHIND THE HOUSE. 

HOURS LATER THE HOUSE, CELLAR HAD BEEN BURNT TO THE GROUND. 


CHIEF DANNY GOODWIN WITH THE WOOD COUNTY FIRE INVESTIGATION TEAM SAID RIGHT THEN AND THERE THAT IT WOULD BE LIKELY BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE. 


WITH ALL OF THIS HAPPENING AT THE FAMILY FARM JUDY’S FAMILY WAS STILL LEFT WITH THE QUESTION OF WHERE WAS JUDY? HER DISAPPEARANCE HAD BEEN BROADCASTED OVER THE RADIO STATIONS AND LOCAL NEWS STATIONS.


ON FEBRUARY 9TH THE SEARCH OF THE CELLAR STARTED. THIS IS WHEN THE FOUND THE BURNED REMAINS OF JUDY PETTY CURLED UP IN A CORNER JUST AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STEPS.

JUDYS REMAINS WERE BURNED SO BAD THAT THE ONLY WAY AUTHORITIES WERE ABLE TO IDENTIFY HER REMAINS WAS BY HER DENTAL RECORDS. 

 

WITH THE INFORMATION GETTING AROUND THE TOWN OF PARKERSBURG SOME BELIEVE THAT JUDY MADE HER WAY UP TO THE FAMILY FARM AND STARTED A FIRE BECAUSE OF HOW COLD IT WAS THAT NIGHT. 

HOWEVER IT’S SAID THAT THE HOUSE HAD ELECTRICITY IN IT AT THE TIME SO JUDY COULD'VE JUST TURNED THE HEAT ON. 


JUDYS AUTOPSY SHOWED THAT THERE WAS NO CARBON MONOXIDE IN HER LUNGS. SHOWING THE MEDICAL EXAMINER THAT SHE WAS DEAD BEFORE THE FIRE EVEN STARTED.

THE MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE LABELED JUDYS DEATH AS “EXTREMELY SUSPICIOUS”.

AFTER THAT JUDY'S REMAINS WERE SENT TO THE SMITHSONIAN FOR FURTHER EXAMINATION WHICH SHOWED THAT THE DAMAGE DONE TO JUDYS BONES HAD MORE THAN LIKELY BEEN CAUSED BY THE FIRE.


FIND OUT THE REST OF JUDY'S STORY IN THE LATEST EPISODE OF MOUNTAIN STATE MYSTERIES

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