CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A second suspect has been charged in the Easter Sunday home invasion slaying of a Fayette County woman.
Fayette County detectives identified suspect Matthew Nelson Underwood, 31, of Oak Hill after interviewing people throughout the community. Underwood had already been arrested on unrelated chargers after investigators interviewed him as part of the slaying case.
The warrant for murder was faxed to the Southern Regional Jail and executed there, and Underwood was then arraigned through the video arraignment system, according to a news release distributed this afternoon by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.
Underwood’s arrest follows the arrest earlier this week of Derrick Crouse, 19, of Oak Hill.
“When we were searching for Crouse on Monday evening we made contact with Matthew Underwood in the Rosedale Trailer Park,” said Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley. “There were outstanding warrants for his arrest for robbery, so he was arrested and remanded to the Southern Regional Jail. He was arraigned the following morning and has been held in the Southern Regional Jail since that time in lieu of $10,000.00 bond.”
Deputies have been investigating the slaying of Janet Garrett, 48, of Oak Hill, who died as the result of a single gunshot wound to the chest in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday.
Low-grade surveillance footage appears to show two suspects parking a vehicle on Berry Street in the Oak Hill area about 1:30 a.m. Easter Sunday. Fridley had earlier described the suspects leaving the vehicle for only a few minutes before at least one of them runs back to the vehicle.
“There’s still a lot of work to do in this case,” Fridley stated in the news release issued by his department. “Detectives are continuing to conduct interviews and to search for additional evidence to strengthen this case even further.”
After the discovery of Garrett’s death, investigators worked Sunday and Monday to follow up on tips from the public and to identify Crouse as one of the suspects.
Deputies, officers from the Oak Hill Police Department and officers from the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force spent several hours on Monday night into Tuesday morning attempting to locate Crouse but were unsuccessful.
Just before noon Tuesday, Crouse turned himself in to the Oak Hill Police Department. He was arraigned in Fayette Magistrate Court and remanded to the Southern Regional Jail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. April 27 before Fayette Magistrate Sharon McGraw.
After Crouse’s arrest, investigators conducted more interviews to identify an additional suspect.
“The initial arrest in this case was the direct result of information received from the public through Crime Stoppers, social media and telephone calls,” Fayette County Prosecuter Larry Harrah stated in the news release.
“This second arrest is the result old-fashioned police work. Detectives have spent the past several days knocking on doors, conducting interviews and gathering evidence to support the arrest of this second suspect.”