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Missing woman's body found in lake

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Police say a Mingo County woman reported missing last week was killed in her home and her body dumped in a lake not far from there.

After days of searching, Evelyn Farnum's 2003 Jeep Liberty was pulled out of Laurel Lake Sunday morning. Farnum's body was found inside and the two men believed to be responsible were arrested.

Trooper J.J. Dean took a missing person's report Wednesday from Andrea Ferris, Farnum's daughter. The woman told police her mother's personal belongings, including her purse and cellphone, were still in the home but that her mother was nowhere to be found.

Farnum, 55, is originally from the Mingo County area but had recently moved back from Florida about a year ago, Dean said Sunday afternoon. Farnum was living in the Right Fork of Laurel Creek near Dingess and that Donald Kevin Medley, 45, was staying with her.

Dean said troopers heard rumors that the two were "distant, distant" cousins or were romantically involved, but investigators were working to determine what the relationship between the two was.

Troopers and Mingo sheriff's deputies searched the area for Farnum, even bringing in a search helicopter to assist them, but had nothing until Saturday when a witness came forward with information.

The witness told troopers he had been with Greg Medley, Donald Medley's younger brother, on Dec. 30 and heard the two were involved with Farnum's disappearance, Dean said.

Troopers interviewed Donald and Greg Medley, 44, Saturday evening at the Williamson detachment.

"We presented them with the facts and they ended up confessing what happened to her and where she was at," Dean said.

Donald Medley told authorities he had been with Farnum in her home the night of Dec. 30.

"He said they got into a fight on the night of the 30th and that he got angry with her," Dean said. "He said he started choking her and hitting her then he choked her to death."

The trooper said Donald Medley told them he put Farnum's body in her vehicle, called his brother Greg for help, then traveled five or six miles to Laurel Lake where he pushed the SUV into the water. Greg said he went to the lake but did not take part, according to Dean.

Authorities called in divers and a rescue team from Logan County to help search the lake for Farnum's vehicle. It was located and pulled from the water Sunday morning.

Dean said Farnum's body was taken to the office of the state Medical Examiner.

Donald and Greg Medley were arrested Saturday night. Donald Medley was charged with first degree murder, concealment of a deceased body and conspiracy. Gregory Medley was charged with concealment of a deceased body and conspiracy.

Both are being held at Southwestern Regional Jail. Greg Medley's bond was set at $200,000. Donald Medley does not have a bond.

Troopers still are investigating. Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.


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