IVYDALE, W.Va. — The investigation into a weekend murder in Clay County goes on, but so far State Police have been unable to produce a motive.
Jody Thomas, 41, was found shot to death at a home in the Ovapa community of Clay County early Saturday morning. The discovery was made by her boyfriend David Lanham. The man State Police suspect killed her was David’s son, Samuel Lanham, 25.
“From what we’re gathering, it was the father’s girlfriend,” said Corporal. R.R. Cervera at the Clay County Detachment of the State Police.
The investigation took a deadly turn on Saturday when the suspect, Samuel Lanham, was discovered in Charleston and led Charleston Police and Troopers on a high speed chase through the Capital city exchanging gunfire along the way.
The pursuit ended at the intersection of Leon Sullivan Way and Washington Street East in Charleston with gunfire from officers which killed Lanham. Lanham struck another car at the intersection, sending two occupants of that vehicle to the hospital.
As for a motive, Trooper Cervera said so far they’ve not been able to piece together what happened.
“It’s still under investigation,” he said.
Lanham’s father told WSAZ TV on Saturday he’ll always remember Thomas as a great mother. They have two children together.
Family members describe Thomas as a “good-hearted” person and say the circumstances surrounding her death make the situation even harder to deal with.
State Police say Samuel Lanham had a history mental and drug problems.