WAR — State authorities confirmed the identity Friday of a McDowell County man whose body was found June 12 in the Warriormine area, but the identity of skeletal remains found Tuesday near War has not yet been determined.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Friday that body found June 12 was that of Billy Joe Baker, 46, of War, who had been missing since May 31, Chief Deputy James E. Muncy Jr. of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office said. The body was found by a man cutting grass in a rural area.

Muncy said an investigation into Baker’s death was continuing, and the cause of death had not been determined.

Local law enforcement is also investigating skeletal remains which were found Tuesday evening at Bearwallow Hollow near Berwind Lake, which is in the War area.

Deputies were able to determine that the skeleton remains were human, Muncy said. They were sent to the State Medical Examiners office in Charleston for identification.

The remains were from a recent death, and not historical, Muncy said after the discovery. They were not discovered in the lake or beside it.

“They were out of the water, on top of a mountain near the lake,” Muncy said then. “They were probably two miles out of Buchanan County.

Muncy said Friday that the remains had not been identified, and that medical examiners would have to determine whether dental records can be used. The investigation was continuing.

People with information about the case are asked to contact the Sheriffs Office at 304-436-8523 or McDowell County 911.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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