Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

August 14, 2011

’89 murder remains unsolved

GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

WAR —  A murder investigation started more than 22 years ago when a son who was checking to see why his mother had not reported for work found her shot to death.

Henrietta Matney, 43, of War did not appear at the Big Creek Rescue Squad where she worked as a secretary, on July 11, 1989. Her death was discovered when her son  went to her mobile home, said Trooper K.L. Pack of the West Virginia State Police detachment in Welch.

Matney’s murder is among the cold cases currently getting yet another look by investigators. Pack consulted the case file.

“She had three contact gunshot wounds to her body,” he said. “She did have children, but they were grown and she was living by herself.”

Matney was not known to be having any substantial trouble with anybody, Pack said. State police found a suspect during the original investigation.

“They actually went to court with one individual, but they ended up with a hung jury,” he said. “They never tried it again.”

Little was found at Matney’s home that could point at a suspect. Robbery was ruled out as a possible motive.

“As far as the crime scene, there was nothing to lead investigators to believe it was in connection with a robbery. There were no signs of forced entry and there was nothing missing. I believe her son said he didn’t know of anything missing,” Pack said.

Like any other criminal case that has been termed a cold case, the challenge is to find new leads to follow. These leads could come from individuals who may have some fresh information.

“People coming forward with information they might know,” Pack replied when asked what could help solve the case. “I’ve been doing some follow up, but nothing I can divulge at the present moment.”

Anyone who believes they have information about the murder can call the West Virginia State Police at 304-436-2102. Tips can be left anonymously, Pack said.