Pair returning to W.Va. to face murder charges

FLORA, Ill. — Two people wanted in connection with the murder of a Parkersburg woman are expected to be returned to West Virginia within the next few days, a state attorney in Illinois said.

Kenneth Leroy McCoy, 33, and Jessica Nicole Roberts, 25, were arrested by the Flora, Ill., Police Department last Thursday. The two are wanted in connection with the death of Penni Jo Curtiss, 53, of Tygart Street, Parkersburg, police said. Her body was discovered by Parkersburg Police on Dec. 12 in her home.

Flora Police arrested the couple last week after receiving a complaint from a clerk at a gas station concerning panhandlers in the parking lot of a gasoline station. The two suspects were found at a nearby Wal-Mart and arrested.

The two had a hearing Monday at 3:30 p.m. in Clay County Circuit Court, said Joel Powless, the state’s attorney for Clay County, Illinois.

Powless said neither of the suspects is fighting extradition back to West Virginia and they have signed waivers to that effect.

”They will be held in our local jail until the West Virginia authorities can pick them up,” he said.

McCoy and Roberts are being held in the Clay County Jail.

Powless said West Virginia authorities have remained “on top of this” and did not expect any issues in getting the two back to West Virginia soon.

Parkersburg Police reported having two detectives in Illinois doing interviews with the two subjects.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said the detectives have returned from Illinois and arrangements were being made to transport the couple back to Parkersburg “in the near future.”

”Once back, we will formally charge them with murder,” Martin said.

The interviews done in Illinois as well as other interviews, surveillance video and investigative work done in Parkersburg “helped the case significantly,” he said.

”It all helped us put together the puzzle and established a timeline for the case,” the chief said.

That work allowed police to locate the weapons used and a search of the victim’s silver Chrysler van also helped establish where the couple went following the death as well as tying them back to it, Martin said.

Martin praised his officers, both the detectives and the uniformed division, who he said worked many hours throughout the weekend in Illinois and West Virginia on this case.

”I feel good about the efforts of our officers in establishing a case of murder,” he said. ”I hope this, in some way, will bring some closure to the family.”