CHARLESTON (AP) —
Fayette County authorities are looking to pin down what prompted an 83-year-old man to allegedly shoot his wife and two in-laws to death.
Howard Junior Curry of Fayetteville is charged in the deaths of his 47-year-old wife, Rexanna Elaine Curry, her sister and the women’s father.
According to a preliminary investigation, Charles W. Treadway, 82, and his daughter, Sheila Fay Miller, 57 both of New Cumberland, went to visit Rexanna Curry on Friday.
A .38-caliber revolver was used in Saturday’s shootings. Drugs and alcohol weren’t factors and a motive remains unclear, Sheriff Steve Kessler said Monday.
According to FBI statistics, people age 65 and older comprised 1 percent of those charged in murder cases in 2010. There were 204 such murder suspects nationally in 2010, compared with 178 in 2006.
Violent crimes in West Virginia are uncommon. There were 62 murders reported for all of 2010 in the state. Although FBI statistics aren’t broken down by age on the state level, Kessler said he simply doesn’t see violent crimes involving older residents.
“It’s odd,” Kessler said. “We see a lot of it, usually not in this age group.”
There were no other witnesses. Two of the victims were found in separate rooms, and the third later died at a hospital, the sheriff said.
The Currys’ mobile home is on a steep road along a normally quiet hollow where many senior citizens live, said Alfred Toney, whose home is further up the hill from the Currys’.
Toney has lived in the area three years and said he’s never noticed anything unusual at the Curry home.
“I’d see them come by and wave and stuff like that,” Toney said. “There wasn’t any problems. They stayed to themselves. You didn’t hear much from them.”
Although he’d never spoken to Howard Curry, Toney said he occasionally talked to Rexanna Curry when he saw her at a grocery store and gas station in Oak Hill.
The Currys had lived at the home about seven years and Kessler said Howard Curry didn’t have any previous arrests. The couple previously lived in Polk County, Fla.
Curry is being held at the Southern Regional Jail pending a preliminary hearing. The case had yet to be assigned to a Fayette County magistrate as of Monday morning. Jail records didn’t indicate whether Curry has an attorney.