The Beckley Police Department is being tight lipped about exactly what happed on Friday, but whatever it was, it sparked an internal audit into the force's evidence locker.
"I've ordered an inventory of our property room and this is as a result of a sudden leave of absence of our evidence technician that would be the person who takes in the evidence and stores it for future court cases," Tim Deems, Beckley Police Chief said.
While the audit is not complete just yet Chief Deems said it appears 200 prescription pills are unaccounted for.
Though Chief Deems stresses no person is under investigation, he tells us only two employees have access to the evidence locker.
"As the Chief I don't even have access to the evidence. If I need to review something like a DVD or whatever it is I go through the evidence technician," Tim Deems, Beckley Police Chief said.
And that evidence technician has been placed on medical leave. Her name is Gabriella Brown, also known as Gabi. She began working at the police department as a secretary in 2007. Brown took on the role as evidence technician in May of 2011.
She has close ties to law enforcement her father is a circuit court judge and husband has worked at the police department.Even though no charges have been brought against Brown, Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller said this incident will impact hundreds of court decisions.
"That any case in which it appears that the evidence may have been compromised will be dismissed by this office. We are not going to go into augments on this case because we must be able to vouch for the evidence control system"Kristen Keller, Prosecuting Attorney said.
And the Beckley Police Department is taking action to make sure that system is credible.
"We will be looking at our policy as well, dealing with evidence and we will be making some changes to those polices to make sure we don't have this situation again," Deems continued.
Though there is still a cloud of questions of exactly what this situation is, Chief Tim Deems said he experts to have more answers in several weeks after the audit is complete.