|Lawsuit claims police corruption may be involved|
By David Hedges, Publisher
The Times Record
A Spencer man troubled by questions surrounding
the disappearance of his daughter
nearly 10 years ago has gone to court in an attempt
to get some answers.
Jesse "Moe" Starcher has filed suit against the
W.Va. State Police, Roane County 911 Center
and City of Spencer.
Starcher claims that police corruption may
have played a part in the disappearance of his
daughter, Christian Dawn (Starcher) Seabolt Left).
She left her mother's apartment on Main Street
in Spencer on the evening of August 31, 2002,
to get a pack of cigarettes and never returned.
She was 18 at the time.
Her skeletal remains and pieces of clothing
were found more than seven years later,
in December 2009, in a remote area of Wirt
County, near the Roane County line. Police
said it appeared they had been in the location
for a long time.
Her father wants to hear a recording of a telephone
call he says was placed to the 911 center
by his daughter just before she disappeared.
He has made several formal requests to listen
to the tape, all of which have been denied.
Starcher says he has received information that
his daughter placed a 911 call and asked to speak
to Huston Eads, a retired state policeman working
for the Spencer Police Dept. at the time.
Starcher said he has received information that
Eads met his daughter in the Spencer Middle School parking lot after she made the call.
After that, he has no idea what happened to
The lawsuit, filed in Kanawha Circuit Court
by Charleston attorney David Karr Jr., says.
Starcher feels "overwhelming guilt" because
his advice to his daughter may have led to her
Starcher claims she came to him to tell him
about crimes she witnessed, and after hearing
her story, he instructed her to go to police with
The suit says Seabolt reported she had witnessed
a Spencer man being murdered.
According to documents with the lawsuit,
Ronnie Stagg, confined to a wheelchair following
a car wreck several years earlier, was found
dead in August 2002. The death was ruled an accidental overdose.
Starcher says in the documents
that his daughter said she was at a
party on Aug. 2, 2002, at a home
outside Spencer that was attended
by several people in the local methamphetamine
During the party, several pain
patches were allegedly stolen from
Stagg, who became irate after learning
of the theft.
The documents claim a group of
meth cooks at the party wheeled
Stagg into a back room and stuffed
pain patches down his throat.
Stagg was unconscious when he
was carried out to his van, driven
home and carried inside. Seabolt said
she was also taken to Stagg's home.
She said Stagg was still alive but
unconscious when she went next door
to talk to his brother, who found him,
dead a short while later.
The documents also claim Seabolt
told her father she had gone to the
Clay County Sheriff's Department
on several occasions with a man who
would go inside and return with large
amounts of both meth and cash.
She said she had used drugs with
the same man and his brother-in-law, a former Clay County prosecutor,
and that she had been present during
drug transactions in which a man
with a badge and a pistol in a holster
she understood was a law enforcement
officer was present.
The lawsuit says Starcher believes
the investigation into his daughter's
disappearance "might have been corrupted
by recklessness and/or other
intentional bad acts of local, county
and/or state law enforcement officers
in the Roane County and Clay
The suit calls the police investigation
into the woman's disappearance
a "sham" and says the contents
of the tape are being withheld "primarily
to protect law-enforcement
personnel who may have had some
level of responsibility in (Seabolt's)
The documents allege that Judd
Reid accompanied Seabolt on several
occasions when she spoke to Eads.
Reid was murdered in October of that
year. A man described as Reid's best
friend, Alex Vincent Golosow, also
known as "Tattoo Vince" was later
convicted in connection with Reid's
death and is serving a life sentence.
The suit says Eads would become
defensive whenever Seabolt would
mention the possible involvement
of law enforcement officers in drug
The suit says that Starcher's own
investigation leads him to believe
Eads leaked information Seabolt
was providing him about the murder
of Stagg "in order to silence her
suggestions of wrongdoing by those
certain law enforcement officers in
Clay County about which Eads had
been so defensive."
Before coming to Roane County,
Eads lived in Clay County and
worked there as a State Trooper.
Efforts were made by this newspaper
to contact Eads, who now lives
in Oak Hill, for comment on the allegations
in the lawsuit.
His phone number was not listed,
but a call was placed to his son, who
lives in Spencer, who said he would
reach his father and give him the request.
The elder Eads has not contacted
Although his daughter's remains
were found nearly three years ago,
and they have been identified by an expert at the Smithsonian Institute, Starcher said they have not been released
and no death certificate has
been issued. Without that, the family
cannot file a wrongful death suit.
"It puts a kink in what we need
to do," Starcher said. "It's not about
the money to me. I'll donate every
penny I get to something."
The suit filed June 27 makes, four
That the W.Va. State Police and
Spencer Police Dept. be required
to turn over a copy of all records
relating to the investigations into
The Roane County 911 Center
provide Starcher with a copy of a
911 call allegedly made by Seabolt
shortly before her disappearance.
That Seabolt be declared dead,
and a death certificate be issued.
An injunction be issued to protect
Starcher and others and that the
court appoint an independent investigator
to look into how law enforcement
has handled the case.
The case has been assigned to Kanawha
Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib.
Editors Note: The Hur Herald has extensively covered stories related to the missing girl's drug connections, Murder Mountain crimes, her disappearance and the discovery of her remains.
MURDERER OF CHRISTIAN DAWN STARCHER SEABOLT NEVER FOUND