CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The body of a homeless man killed over the weekend was found in the Kanawha River Tuesday afternoon.
According to witnesses, Brandon Robinson, 19, was attacked by Brian Thompson, 23, late Saturday night with a machete before having his head stomped on by Thompson. Investigators believe Thompson then stomped on Robinson’s head before throwing his body into the Kanawha River.
“He was found approximately 75 yards west of the spot that he was thrown into the river by the suspect,” said Lt. Steve Cooper, chief of detectives for the Charleston Police Department.
Dive teams had difficulty finding Robinson’s body earlier this week because of cold temperatures. Cooper said boat patrols with the police department and the Charleston Fire Department found the body.
Thompson was originally charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding. Cooper said those charges have changed.
“We are upgrading the charges from attempted murder and malicious wounding to first-degree murder now that we have actually found the victim’s body,” Cooper said.
This was the first murder of 2017 in Charleston.