A woman was found murdered in the trunk of her own car at a West Virginia Walmart parking lot and the grandfather of her child confessed to the killing, investigators claim.
Alexa Randolph was reported missing in January outside of Morgantown-home to West Virginia University. Morgantown is in Monongalia County, about 90 minutes south of Pittsburgh.
On Wednesday, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office charged Gary Donald Smith II, 60, with murder in connection to her death. Smith is the paternal grandfather of Randolph’s child. He is being held in a West Virginia jail without bond.
Randolph was from nearby Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
Morgantown police started to search for Randolph on Jan. 28, and found her vehicle the next day, Monongalia County Sheriff investigators told FrontPageDetectives.com. When they searched the vehicle, officers found her remains in the trunk of her car. An autopsy determined her death was a homicide
Randolph’s car was dropped off at the Wal-Mart at about 8:50 p.m. on Jan. 28, and the suspect left on foot, according to the sheriff’s office.
A second crime scene was in the garage of Smith’s Morgantown home, according to a criminal complaint filed in West Virginia court.
Smith made several statements that implicated him in the crime and provided intimate details about the case, according to the complaint. Investigators did not reveal how Randolph was killed, but said she was not shot or stabbed.
Sheriff Perry Palmer said the motive is still under investigation, and there may be further charges in the case. Murder in West Virginia is punishable by up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 304-291-7260.