Human Remains Found in Arden Identified; Suspects Named - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Human Remains Found in Arden Identified; Suspects Named

Posted: Updated:
Clayton Collins, 28 / Photo courtesy of West Virginia Regional Jail Authority Clayton Collins, 28 / Photo courtesy of West Virginia Regional Jail Authority
William Murray, 28 / Photo courtesy of West Virginia Regional Jail Authority William Murray, 28 / Photo courtesy of West Virginia Regional Jail Authority

--Update--

Officials tell us the identity of the victim was identified by a previous mug shot taken of the victim back in February of 2011.  Officials also say that same information was recovered through statements collected through the investigation.

Court documents state that the weapon used in the murder was a silver wrench.

According to the criminal complaint, Collins had caught Blankenship stealing property from Collins' father.  The mug shot of Blankenship from February was not related to the robbery.

The body is believed to have been in Barbour County for 10 days before it was brought to the attention of the Barbour County Sheriff's Office.

Officials say the investigation is continuing, although they believe they have arrested the two that initiated the murder.  

We're told the investigation will now be  handled primarily by Harrison County officials.

--Update--

Law enforcement officials identified the human remains found in Arden as the body of Thomas Ray Blankenship Jr., 20, of West Union at a news conference Monday evening.

Authorities describe his death as a revenge killing.

They said the two men accused in Blankenship's death believed he stole property from one of their father's.

Officials said he was killed on Dec. 29 by blunt force trauma in Harrison County before his body was dumped in Barbour County.

William Murray, 28, and Clayton Collins, 28, are both charged with first degree murder and conspiracy.

Both are in the North Central Regional Jail with no bail set.

--Original Story--

Law enforcement officials will be holding a news conference in Harrison County Monday at 5:30 p.m. in connection with the discovery of human remains found in Barbour County last week.

Barbour County officials said last week that the crime that led to the man's death may not have been committed in Barbour County.

Officials said that the arrest of William Murray, 28, and Clayton Collins, 28, will also be discussed at the news conference.

Murray and Collins are both in the North Central Regional Jail, charged with first degree murder.

We will provide more information as it becomes available.