TERRA ALTA, W.Va. (WBOY) — A Westover man has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to a cold case from 1985 where a 13-year-old was found dead from a stab wound, buried in a shallow hole near railroad tracks in Terra Alta.

The body of Jerimiah Watkins was found on Tuesday, Nov. 12 of 1985, according to a criminal complaint. An autopsy determined that in addition to the stab wound, Watkins had suffered a brain bleed from an apparent blow to the head.

Jerimiah “Jerry” Watkins. Credit: Preston County Sheriff’s Office

Deputies say they started working on the case again earlier this month and found statements that led them to suspect David Adams, now 56, so they brought him in for an interview under oath.

David Adams

On Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, Adams, according to a complaint, provided a statement to law enforcement saying that he was at his residence, and struck Jerimiah in the face before taking the boy to a shed where the boy was stabbed.

According to a Facebook post by the Preston County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began with an argument over a stolen bicycle.

Adams then further admitted to dragging the teenager’s body and placing it in a shallow hole.

According to the complaint, Adams was one of several people that law enforcement originally interviewed while investigating Watkins’ death. Adams was 18 when the incident happened, based on his birth date.

Back in 2004, West Virginia State Police Sgt. Danny Swiger, told The Preston County Journal that Watkins’ death was “One case I would really like to see solved.”

Adams is being held in the North Central Regional Jail in lieu of $1,000,000 bond.

The Preston County Sheriff’s Office also thanked the West Virginia State Police and the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Captain Tichnell at 304-329-1611, ext. 2152.