Lashmeet Murder probe

Deputy M.C. Altice, Deputy M.T. Hatfield and Detective Cpl. M.S. Horn open a lock box while searching for evidence linked to a shooting that occurred in the Reese Harmon Ridge area of Lashmeet.

LASHMEET — Deputies with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department flooded the area of Reese Harmon Ridge Thursday after a homeowner discovered two deceased individuals on their property.

A call was received by Mercer County 911 at 6:30 a.m. stating that a homeowner had opened their back door on Thursday morning and discovered the bodies of two victims. According to Detective Sgt. Steven Sommers of the sheriff’s department, the victims of the shooting are Dalton Ramsey and Josh Williams, both of the Lashmeet area, ages unknown.

The suspect is believed to be 19-year-old Kenneth Adkins, Sommers said.

Also found on the property, along with the victims, was an unknown vehicle, a gold Ford Ranger. Once on the scene, officers discovered a pair of shoes lying on the ground by the truck.

“Evidence suggests that they were shot on the property where they were found,” Sommers said.

According to Sommers and Mercer County Sheriff Tommy Bailey, the homeowners where the victims were found are completely unrelated to the shooting.

A search warrant was served at a house in question, Adkins’ home, also on Reese Harmon Ridge, and deputies conducted a search of the residence. After searching the house deputies did exit with items of interest, including a small safe.

After searching the safe, Sommers said that deputies “did find evidence” within the home.

According to Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler, the shooting is believed to be either gang or drug-related.

Of the scene, and the believed movement of the victims from the vehicle to the residence, Bailey said, “Thirty years of this and I’ve never seen two bodies end up practically in the same place and dying after they’d been shot.”

The motive of the crime is unknown at this time but deputies are currently investigating all aspects of the incident.

Those with information on Adkins are asked to contact Sommers via the Mercer County non-emergency line at 304-425-8911.

— Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com

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