Police say a man has confessed to the murder of Wyoming County school bus driver.

Elaine Birchfield, 60, of Brenton, was found dead in her home on Mill Creek Road around 6:00 Tuesday evening.

Wyoming County Sheriff Randall Aliff says her body was discovered by her son.

“A relative had went into the house to check on his mother and found that she was deceased,” according to the sheriff.

Elaine Birchfield

Birchfield, who drove a school bus at Huff Consolidated School, apparently arrived home from work to find a man later identified as John New in her house. Police believe New was committing a burglary.

Sheriff Aliff believes Birchfield was murdered between 5 and 5:30pm. He says her truck, a GMC Sierra K1500 was missing along with some cash.

Investigators put out an All-Points-Bulletin for the truck and it was located shortly after midnight not far away in neighboring Mingo County.

“A lady spotted the truck and called 911. [The suspect] was apprehended by the Gilbert Police Department,” Sheriff Aliff said.

WVRJA photo

John New is an inmate at the Southwestern Regional Jail

New, 20, of Brier Creek in Wyoming County has been charged with one count of first degree murder, grand larceny and daytime burglary. He’s being held at the Southwestern Regional Jail.

Sheriff Aliff says when questioned, New confessed to the murder. As to the connection between the two, Aliff says there was no prior relationship.

“I’m not sure that he personally knew her. I think he just knew of her. But it appears right now that robbery was the motive in this case,” according to Aliff. He does not believe drugs were involved.

New is also facing charges in Mingo County where he was arrested.

Wyoming County school officials say Birchfield was well-liked by the students who rode her bus. Grief counselors were at Huff Consolidated School Wednesday.

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  • debbie morgan fair

    I meant to say death penalty is so wrong I read your post wrong Ben again God bless you John New

    • Levelheaded

      Wrong reading means wrong thinking.

  • debbie morgan fair

    Ben I absolutely agree withyou God be with this young man. Praying for you John

  • Ben

    Smokey your on to something. Death penalty would be true justice.

  • Smokey

    Another reason to enact the death penalty.

  • tina martin

    John and his parents rented a lot for their trailer off Elaine years ago. It was located on the other side of the road where she lived in Mill Creek. She was a sweet and humble lady. I've known her all my life and went to school with her two oldest children.

  • Levelheaded

    So, the fact that she was a school bus driver has absolutely nothing to do with this crime.