Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 20, 2012

Bluewell resident charged in 2002 death of husband in N.C.

BLUEWELL — A 44-year-old Bluewell woman has been arrested for allegedly killing her husband in North Carolina, according to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

Melissa Rovnak is charged with the 2002 murder of Scott Rovnak. Det. Cpl. L.B. Murphy of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said officers with the Moore County Sheriff’s Department in North Carolina traveled to Mercer County on Monday, June 18, with warrants for Rovnak’s arrest. Murphy said Rovnak has family members in the Bluewell area.

Det. Robert Langford of the Moore County Sheriff’s Department said the case has been ongoing for 10 years.

“We just recently developed information on his wife,” Langford said. “She is from this area. We came up and arrested her.”

Scott Rovnak was found dead on Dec. 29, 2002, at the couple’s home in Aberdeen, N.C.

“He had been shot in the back of the head with a handgun,” Langford said.

Earlier stories published by the North Carolina newspaper The Pilot said authorities first believed Scott died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. However, investigators ruled the case as a homicide.

Langford isn’t sure when Rovnak returned to the Mercer County area.

Before her arrest, Rovnak was considered a person of interest in the case.

“We have a motive,” Langford said.

He declined to comment further on the case.

Chief Deputy Neil Godfrey said the murder was the only unsolved cold case at the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.

“It is good to bring the case to conclusion for the family,” Godfrey said. “Of course, we still need to go to trial.”

Rovnak is incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail awaiting an extradition hearing.

— Contact Jamie Parsell at jparsell@bdtonline.com

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