A single car wreck in West Virginia turned into an extensive investigation on Sunday when eyewitnesses told police that they saw the driver remove a child’s body from the vehicle.
West Virginia State Police responded to a vehicle accident at 11 a.m., Aug. 6, on U.S. Route 250, Allegheny Mountain, a mile and a half west of the Virginia border.
At this time, an older couple from New York City approached the troopers saying that they saw the driver carry a child’s body from the car. Police found the dead child about 150 feet from the car over an embankment.
“If it hadn’t been for an older couple from New York City who observed the child being removed from the vehicle, we probably would have just thought it was a minor motor vehicle accident with a driver and nobody else,” said Sgt. Fred Barlow of the West Virginia State Police.
The driver, 37-year-old Erica Newsome of Jacksonville, had lost control of the car and crashed. The body belonged to her 11-year-old daughter.
Investigators determined that the child was killed in Jacksonville and loaded into Newsome’s car.
“The death occurred in Jacksonville Florida,” said Barlow. “The child was placed in the vehicle early Saturday morning and she headed toward Buffalo, New York.”
West Virginia troopers contacted authorities in Jacksonville, who searched Newsome’s home and found evidence of the murder there. The officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department were en route to West Virginia Monday.
The body of the child as at the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. Althought the cause of death has not been confirmed, there is evidence of foul plau, Barlow said, and more arrests may be coming in Jacksonville.
The 11-year-old’s child lives in Bufallo. Newsome had told police she is heading there.
“She knew she had vehicle issues and didn’t want to be driving at interstate speeds,” Barlow said. “She decided to stay off major highways and that’s how she wound up in Thornwood.”
The eyewitnesses from New York City are an elderly couple returning home after a bluegrass music festival in Parsons. They told troopers that after they saw Newsome carry the child’s body from the car and take it over the hill, the decided to wait around for the police to share the information.
If it wasn’t for the couple, Barlow said, it is likely the discovery would not have been made.
Newsome was booked into the Souther Regional Jail on charges of concealment of a dead human being.