Suspects in custody in homicide investigation


By Beth Sergent - [email protected]



MASON, W.Va. — A homicide investigation led by the Mason County Detachment of the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) resulted in warrants issued for two people reportedly now in custody in Ohio.

The body of John Michael Gomez, 30, of New Haven, W.Va. and also formerly of Middleport, Ohio, was found on March 8 by a passerby along Carson Road near Mason, W.Va., according to Sgt. Joe Finnicum of the WVSP.

In relation to this investigation, arrest warrants were reportedly issued on March 11 for Bobby L. Woolford, 32, Cleveland, Ohio, and Rikki L. Wise, 24, Racine, Ohio. Woolford was arrested in the Cleveland area on charges unrelated to this case on March 10 and Wise was taken into custody by law enforcement officials on Wednesday, March 23, also in the Cleveland area, according to Sgt. Finnicum. Attempts at extradition to West Virginia are expected to proceed regarding both Woolford and Wise who will each be facing a first degree murder charge, Finnicum said.

Finnicum also reported it’s believed a possible motive has been identified in this case but this remains an ongoing investigation and more information will be released as the investigation proceeds.

In addition to working with law enforcement officials in the Cleveland area, the WVSP have been assisted in this investigation by the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, United States Marshals office and Office of State Medical Examiner.

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By Beth Sergent

[email protected]

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.