West Virginia based Lost Valley Studios is getting ready to release “Mountain of the Missing”, a documentary about serial killer James Childers, but what started as research led the three creators on an independent reinvestigation of the case.

In June of 2009, the Clarksburg Police Department received a recording from James E. Childers, confessing to five murders and several cases of arson.

The bodies of two victims, Carolyn Sauerwein and Carrie Lynn Baker were found, and the case would grow cold, until now.

“A lot of people don’t even know there was a serial killer in West Virginia,” said narrator Jammie Ferrell. “When you talk about it they’re like who? They don’t even know the name they don’t know anything about it.”

Lost Valley Studios stumbled upon the story while looking for a subject for their next film.

“We’ve talked to neighbors. We’ve talked to people that went to high school with him,” said Co-Producer Tyler Miller. “Everybody and anybody that was connected with Childers we want to speak to.”

They were also in need of the evidence, filing Freedom of Information Act requests with Clarksburg Police, West Virginia State Police and the FBI.

“The representative with the state State Police told me it was the biggest FOIA request that she had ever processed because we asked for so much about the case,” said Co-Director and Producer Calvin Grimm. “Everything from autopsy reports and every piece of note taking that any officer took.”

As new information unfolded, and interviews were conducted with law enforcement involved, the film quickly went from a standard documentary to a reinvestigation.

Working with their sources, Lost Valley Studios identified more missing persons cases that could be linked to Childers as well as some new evidence.

Finding all of Childers’ victims all hinges on access to the family’s Braxton County farm.

“All the law enforcement that we talked to that were involved with the case intimately have all said that either that they believe there definitely bodies up there or why not at least look,” Grimm said.  

The farm was originally searched in 2009, but the search stopped when Childers, took is own life, police left the property.

Now, the filmmakers are ready with the means to search it again.

“We’ve set it up that the cadaver dogs will go out there for free,” Miller said. “Hopefully we can get the ground penetrating radar down here.”

All they need is permission.

“As I understand it the Childers family is a well known, well respected family for the most part and this story has tainted that in a lot of ways,” said Grimm. “Getting their permission or getting a warrant is the only way to bring closure to this case.”

Lost Valley Studios has not directly contacted the Childers family, but would welcome a conversation should the family wish.

They hope the search of the property will finally close the case and be included in the film before its late spring or early summer release, but above all, they want to end the years of questions for all involved.

“We understand that this information coming to light and resurfacing in a feature length film might be difficult for both the victims’ families and James Childers’ family, but at the end of the day this is about bringing closure to those victims that are potentially up there,” Grimm said.