GILBERT — A case that has remained unsolved for 1 1/2 years is the Daily News’ most recent “Mingo’s Most Wanted” profile, in hopes that someone with knowledge and information about a homicide and arson case that occurred on Gilbert Creek on Aug. 3, 2011, will come forward and share what they know with law enforcement.
Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) Sgt. Joe Smith and Sgt. James Muncy are being assisted in their investigation by WV Asst. State Fire Marshal Brad Hartley, as they search for the truth as to who beat Rue Cline Morgan, 54, of Hanover, so severally that she suffered a skull fracture, multiple broken ribs, a broken arm and shoulder, and then took her to a rental property located at Gilbert Creek that was owned by her husband. Once there, the unknown assailant poured gasoline on the body and around the property and set it afire. If the attacker believed Morgan to be deceased when he dumped her inside the unoccupied mobile home – he was mistaken.
A coal miner on his way home from work passed the location at approximately 3:30 a.m., and told law enforcement that he seen flames shooting from the structure and then observed a woman who was on fire screaming for help as she tried to climb through a window. The Good Samaritan managed to free Morgan from the window, got her on the ground and extinguished the flames that consumed a large portion of her body. The victim was transported to the burn unit of Cabell Huntington Hospital where she passed away one week later, on Aug. 10.
The autopsy report from the WV State Medical Examiner’s office list the cause of death as blunt impact injuries and multiple injuries she suffered as the result of a set fire.
The investigating officers are hoping that someone will provide the answers they are seeking to solve this horrible crime and also give a sense of closure to the victim’s family. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person (persons) responsible for the death and arson.
“This victim died a terrible death,” stated Sgt. Smith. “It’s chilling to think of all the suffering she went through before she died. First, she was severely beaten; had multiple fractures, breaks and contusions, and then she was set on fire.”
“No one deserves to die like that.”
If you have knowledge of these crimes and who committed them, you are asked to contact Sgt. Joe Smith or Sgt. James Muncy at the MCSD; 304-235-0300, ext. 371. It is not necessary to provide your name if you wish to remain anonymous, they are only interested in the information that will help solve this case and bring those responsible to justice.
“We have reviewed all of the information we have gathered so far and spoke with several people, but we are at a standstill with the investigation at this time,” said Sgt. Muncy. “We’re remaining optimistic that someone will step forward and do the right thing and provide the parts of the puzzle we’re missing.”
With a $5,000 reward now in place for the person who provides the information to solve this case, the officers are hoping the tips will start rolling in.