UPDATE: 10/17/17 – West Virginia State Police say the remains found belong to Marion County native Robert Novack. Novack went missing in September 1998. He was a student at Virginia Tech at the time and was headed home for Labor Day weekend, but he never arrived. His car was found along U.S. 19 on the north end of the bridge. Authorities state there’s also an indication from the remains that Kovack may have been hit by a car before he fell from the bridge.
Could remains belong to West Virginia woman missing since 1979?
Remains have been found under a cliff in Kanawha Falls by a person looking for arrowheads. Police arrived on the scene after the person called. Police found more bones that were buried in a shallow grave.
There is speculation that the remains may belong to Sue Faye McMillion Roop, 29, who went missing on February 12, 1979. A neighbor reported she got in a car with a man. Sue lived in Bentree, about eight miles from Gauley Bridge. There was speculation that her husband, Raymond Roop was involved with her disappearance. Roop was arrested and charged for the murder of Charles R. Wood, 71.
Regarding Raymond Roop: “The crimes occurred on April 25, 2001. On July 20, 2001, Roop was indicted for several crimes, including malice murder. On December 11, 2001, a jury found Roop guilty on all counts. That same day, the trial court sentenced Roop to life in prison for malice murder and ruled that the other counts merged with the malice murder conviction. Roop filed a motion for new trial on December 18, 2001, and an amended motion for new trial on May 27, 2004. The trial court denied the motion for new trial, as amended, on August 30, 2004. Roop filed a notice of appeal on September 15, 2004, and the appeal was docketed in this Court on November 1, 2004. The case was orally argued on February 14, 2005.” Footnote on court documents for Roop appeal.
“The only missing person that anyone has been able to tell me about in that area during that time frame is a lady named Sue Roop, who went missing in 1979,” Captain Jim Sizemore of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department told Metro News.In 1993 skeletal remains were found on Bolt Mountain in Raleigh County, that were thought to be Roop, but no positive DNA identification has been made on those remains.
Last spring, construction crews found remains, believed to be those of Virginia Tech student Robert Novack. He was found under the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County. Personal affects were found with the remains that are believed to belong to Novack. The New River Gorge Bridge is about 35 miles from Gauley Bridge.
Please call the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department at 304-255-9300 if you know anything about the case of Susan Roop or the body on Bolt Mountain.