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Cops Identify Body, Call Death Suicide

Man Was Sought By West Virginia Police
6-3-2007 West Virginia:

UPPER TRACT, W.Va. — The decomposed body of a man found about a month ago has been identified as Zane Truett Partain, according to a report filed by State Police Sgt. J.A. Wyatt.

Authorities estimate that Partain, a registered sex offender wanted on a probation violation in Maryland, died on Feb. 21.

The 58-year-old Partain was the subject of a search by Pendleton County police on that day after a confrontation with some family members led to a two-hour lockdown of Franklin Elementary School.

The Discovery

On May 8, Wyatt was dispatched to the Brushy Run area in Upper Tract to investigate the discovery of a decomposed body found near a culvert.

The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston, where an autopsy revealed that the victim had died of a single gunshot wound to the forehead, according to the report.

"Due to the decomposition, identification was difficult and took a great deal of time," Wyatt said.

School Lockdown

On Feb. 21, Franklin Elementary School was placed under a "Code Red" or lockdown condition following a recommendation from local law enforcement officers. The decision was made after the school received a telephone call from a mother of two students that "raised concerns," a school official said at the time. It’s .

But in a statement the following day, State Police Trooper A.D. Teter said that police were searching for Partain. Although he was a registered sex offender in Maryland, the confrontation Partain had with family members was not pertinent to his sex-offender status, Teter said.

Police searched around the school, but did not go inside, Teter said.

A Maryland State Police Trooper 5 helicopter patrolled around the Upper Tract area and assisted in the search, Teter added.

"This case is closed and has been determined to be a suicide. There will be no further statements or information surrounding this investigation," Wyatt added. ..more.. by Joan Ashley

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