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Texas Suspect Accused Of Cold-Case Murder Of Missing West Virginia Man Featured On FrontPageDetectives

cold case suspect
Source: West Virginia State Police

Nov. 14 2022, Published 3:07 p.m. ET

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A man was identified as a suspect in connection with the murder of a man whose skeletal remains were found nearly 15 years after he vanished in West Virginia.

The missing person case was once featured on and detailed how he went missing after going to buy a car.

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Charles Michael “Cason” Kessinger, 38, was recently extradited from Texas to West Virginia, where he is accused of robbing and murdering James Johansen, 53, WV News reported, citing West Virginia State Police.

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Kessinger was arrested in October at his home in San Antonio.

In June 2007, Johansen was reported missing to the West Virginia State Police Lewisburg Detachment. His skeletal remains were found in September 2021 near Muddy Creek Mountain in Greenbrier County.

West Virginia

As FrontPageDetectives previously reported, around the time he disappeared, Johansen sold his only form of transportation, a Dodge Neon, to an individual in Fairlea, West Virginia, and he was supposed to head to Akron, Ohio, to buy a replacement vehicle.

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“The purchaser advised after the sale Mr. Johansen left with an unknown female subject,” West Virginia State Police said. “Mr. Johansen had been in contact with an individual in Ohio to purchase another vehicle and was making plans to take the trip. The individual from Ohio was contacted by the WV State Police and Mr. Johansen never made it to Ohio.”

After the victim’s remains were located, members of the WVSP Lewisburg Detachment and WVSP Bureau of Criminal Investigations looked into new and old leads. Troopers recently presented the case to a grand jury in Greenbrier County, which returned robbery and murder indictments against Kessinger.

Police have not said how they tied to the suspect to the case or a motive in the alleged murder.


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