UPDATE: Oak Hill murder case "Something needs to be done" - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Oak Hill murder case "Something needs to be done"

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William Cody William Cody


A missing person's case turned into a murder investigation overnight.

59News unveiled the way police were able to make a swift arrest and found out how the community is in shock.

William Cody, 63, of Fayetteville was dating Santanae Byers, 24, of Scarbro when police say Cody murdered Byers and hid her body. After being questioned by State Police on Monday, when they say he told them he knew nothing on her disappearance, on Tuesday, the very next day, he walked in the same State Police office again and, according to police, this time he told them he killed Ms. Byers and disposed of her remains in an outbuilding on Blaketown Road in Oak Hill. A neighbor is deeply saddened to hear of a woman's life taken at such a young age.

"Does it shock you? No. Does it surprise you? No. Does it grieve you? Yes," Neighbor Houston Adkins told us.

As soon as a search warrant was obtained for the outbuilding, officers discovered human remains of a white female inside, consistent with the description of Ms. Byers.

According to Adkins, prescription pill abuse may have played a role in the violent act Cody took to Byers. He urged everyone in the community to do their role to combat this issue.

"That's what I heard it was connected to, some drug issues. Because of this, users devalue themselves, then they devalue others. Then you have violent acts like this that will continue to increase in our society. We've got to do something about this," added Adkins.

The human remains were sent to the State Medical Examiners Office in Charleston. William Cody was arrested and charged with 1st degree murder. He is being held in the Southern Regional Jail where he is currently being held without bond.






One day after a woman's body is found in an outbuilding near Oak Hill, the neighbors are commenting on the situation that started as a missing person case and turned into a murder investigation.

59News is working for you to find out more about the relationship that paired a man and a woman with a 40 year difference in their ages.  Neighbor, Houston Adkins, spoke about the shock of this murder so close to where he lives with his wife and daughter. Adkins said this murder reflects the prescription pill epidemic in southern West Virginia.

Watch for the interview on 59News at 5 and 6.




State Police from the Oak Hill Detachment were looking for a missing woman, Santanae Byers, but that case is now a murder investigation.

William Frederick Cody, 63, of Fayetteville was arrested on Wednesday after he reportedly admitted to killing Byers.  According to the West Virginia State Police, Cody came into the Oak Hill Detachment on his own.  He told Troopers that he had killed Byers and left her body in an outbuilding on Blaketown Road.  Troopers obtained a search warrant for the building, where they discovered the remains of a white female who matched Byers description.

State Police had questioned Cody on Monday, but at that time Cody told Troopers that he didn't know anything about the disappearance of Santanae Byers.  Cody was apparently Byers "on again/off again boyfriend."

Byers was last seen with Cody on Monday, June 17 in the area of Hilltop Loop Road. 

Cody is charged with First Degree Murder.  He is being held without bond in the Southern Regional Jail.  The remains have been sent to the State Medical Examiner in Charleston for identification.

State Police need your help to find a missing woman in Fayette County.

Santanae Byers, 24, has been missing since Monday morning.

Byers was last seen in the Loop Road area of Hilltop.

Byers is described as a white woman about 5-feet 4-inches tall and approximately 120-pounds.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, you're urged to contact the West Virginia State Police at (304) 469-2915.

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