The story of Margaret Dodd Part I: 'From lost to found' - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

The story of Margaret Dodd Part I: 'From lost to found'

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BEAVER, W.Va. (WVVA) Forty years after she seemingly vanished from an abandoned gas station in Beaver in September of 1977, Margaret Dodd's husband, Ken Dodd, is breaking his silence for the first time since a major break in the case -- telling the story of a murder mystery like no other and one that may not be over just yet. 

It all started at Akron College in Ohio, where Margaret Dodd was a roommate of Ken Dodd's sister at the school.

"She was a free spirit. She was outspoken. She loved to have fun and laugh. And she was a good person," said Dodd.  

The two eventually married and moved back near Beckley, where Ken Dodd was born. But life was not perfect, adds Dodd. After Margie became pregnant, he said his wife suffered from preeclampsia and just four days after she delivered, their first child died.

By September of 1977, things were starting to get back to normal, recalls Dodd. The couple had just bought a new house in Shady Spring and Margie, after taking some time off work to deal with the loss, started a new job at the Cardinal Bank in Beckley.

Their future was starting to look bright, Dodd thought. But the feeling wouldn't last. 

"We were getting ready to start a family again, start living again. Then September 7th came and my whole world changed." 

That day started like any other. Dodd said the couple took morning classes together at Concord University and both worked the evening shift so they could spend time together in the morning. 

"During the day, there was a problem at the bank. Someone tried to get in the bank while she was there and she had to call police. When police came, he insinuated that he was going to get her for that." 

Not taking any chances, Dodd said he called one of his law enforcement friends to help Margie as she got off work. But just as she was supposed to leave, he said the officer was called to a robbery in progress on the other side of town. 

The next call Dodd said he received was from a state trooper at the abandoned Amoco Station in Beaver off of Route 19. 

"I pulled into the parking lot and her car was in the lot with the door wide open. Right behind her car was a purse that had fallen to the ground. The contents were spread out all over the ground." 

"It was a huge deal around that time and uncommon for a woman to just disappear," remembers Frank Pack, former Chief of Detectives for Beckley Police and the lead investigator on the case at the time. 

As the husband, Dodd started off as a person of interest who recalled being interrogated by Pack for nearly four days.  But after a look into his alibi and two lie detector tests by troopers and Beckley Police, the investigation steered away from Dodd and toward persons of interest in a series of rapes happening around the same time in the Beaver/ Airport Road area. 

"Kent Dodd would be sitting in that couch it seemed like 24 hours a day almost. Every time we would walk through the door he'd look up and say 'any news?" recalled Pack. 

Over the next decades, Dodd would not get an answer. He said he would find himself scanning the people he passed on the streets, wondering if one day one of them would be Margie.

"For forty years, there was not a glimpse, not a sign, not a clue....nothing. Then all of a sudden, someone puts a picture in front of you and you know it when you see it. It was like seeing her again." 

TO BE CONTINUED: The story of Margaret Dodd Part II:  It would not be until nearly 40 years later that Dodd would learn more about what happened to his wife. A remarkable discovery by a hunter takes the case in a whole new direction. Tune into WVVA News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday for the story. 

Crimestoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction. 

Those with information can call the West Virginia State Police, Raleigh County Sheriff's Dept., CrimeStoppers at 255-STOP, or visit their new website at http://CrimeStoppersWV.com/. 

Tips may remain anonymous.

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