The Margie Dodd story Part II: 'Two cases tangled' - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

The Margie Dodd story Part II: 'Two cases tangled'


BEAVER/ BOLT, W.Va. (WVVA) Secrets often lie at the heart of unsolved mysteries. Memories fade. Witnesses die. But then, a new discovery turns the case upside down. 

"For forty years, there's not a clue...nothing. Then all of a sudden somebody sets a picture in front of you and you know it immediately. It's her ring. It's her." 

After his wife seemingly vanished from an abandoned Beaver gas station on September 7, 1977, Ken Dodd continued on with the new reality that was his life. He eventually remarried and went on to have children and grandchildren. But the memory of 'Margie' was never far from his mind. 

"You drag it with you. It's something that keeps you from being a real person," explains Dodd. "Constantly, even after twenty years, you see someone on the street that brings it back and you ask, could that be Margie?" 

In 1993, Ken Dodd was living out of state. He never heard about the body stumbled upon by a hunter on Bolt Mountain one warm December day. 

Frank Pack was in town. He was the former Chief of Detectives for the  former Beckley Police Dept. and one of the lead investigators on the Dodd case.

"My initial instinct was that it may be Margie. I asked Chief Deputy over at the Raleigh Sheriff's Dept. He asked for a clothing description of what she was wearing at the time. So I gave it to him." 

By his account, Pack checked back days later, only to be told that the lead investigator on the Bolt case, Detective Steve Tanner, had reason to believe the remains belonged to Sue Roop, a Fayette County woman who disappeared in 1979. 

It would not be until another chance discovery 24 years later that Tanner's theory would be called into question.  In December of 2016, investigators with the Fayette County Sheriff's Dept. said an artifact hunter in Kanawha Falls in Northern Fayette County accidentally happened across a human skeleton.

Based on where the remains were found, less than a mile from where first Roop disappeared, investigators in Fayette County believe strongly they are hers, but at this point are still awaiting DNA results. 

If the woman on Bolt Mountain was not Roop, then who was it?

"In January, Detective Lilly (with the Raleigh County Sheriff's Dept.) told me there's a strong possibility it's Margie. I said call Kent Dodd and you'll know in minutes," said Pack. 

"It took me three seconds to identify the ring and say that's her," said Dodd. 

In January, the Raleigh County Sheriff's Dept. ordered DNA testing on a sample that  was already completed on the ring to be matched with another sample from Margie's brother.

The results confirmed what Dodd already knew. 

"When we got married, we didn't have any money to do anything. I could barely afford a band. She wanted to save the diamond from her grandmother so I put it in the ring I bought for her." 

Dodd now believes his wife's case was plagued by a series of missed opportunities. 

"The fact that this had gone one 40 years and for 24 years my wife's remains were in a lab in Charleston. At that time, we didn't he (Tanner) pursue another avenue? Why didn't he call Margie Dodd's husband after he was told it could be Margie. I want those answers. I deserve those answers," said Dodd. 

WVVA News reached out to former Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner for an answer to Dodd's questions, but he has yet to respond. 

Despite everything, Dodd holds out hope that the person who snatched Margie's life from this earth will one day see justice. 

"I don't have a fear right now. You have an awesome Sheriff...Sheriff Van Meter. He didn't have to step up like he did. He did that because he's an honorable man." 

In August, the Dodd family was finally able to host a memorial service for Margie.

"There were thirty doves," recalls Dodd, "and the minister handed me one of the doves and said here....when I released that dove, that was Margie."

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 

Tips may remain anonymous.


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