GRAFTON – Almost two weeks after a Grafton man was murdered and left along the side the road, police have a suspect in custody and the family of Tyler Poston, 26, can breathe a sigh of relief as they prepare to celebrate the life of a young man that was cut short.
Joshua Blake Price, 29, of Farmington was arrested on Wednesday and charged with Poston’s murder.
On the morning of Saturday, June 26th, Poston’s step-father made the tragic discovery, finding Poston’s body near his truck parked on the side of Grafton Road.
Joe Johnson had made the commute from Grafton to Morgantown countless times but as he came to the top of Black Mountain that morning, he noticed something out of the ordinary and immediately had a gut feeling that something was wrong.
Johnson did not know it yet, but he had inadvertently driven up on the scene of his step-son’s murder.
Sometime between 9 p.m. Friday night and 7:30 a.m. Saturday, police allege Price shot Poston six times, four times in the torso and twice in the head, then fled the scene.
When Johnson saw his step-son’s truck parked in a pullout along Route 119 at that time of morning, he knew something was amiss but never suspected what he would find as pulled over to see why Poston had stopped along the busy road.
“I thought maybe he had pulled off to the side of the road to use the phone, thought maybe he had drunk one too many the night before and pulled off the road to take a nap or get off the road,” Johnson said during an interview on WAJR’s Talk of the Town. “I knew something was right for him to be up there at 7:30 on a weekend.”
As Johnson walked up to truck, there was no sign of Poston but as Johnson began to survey the area, he quickly realized that he was in the middle of a nightmare.
“I had to walk up and call 911 and the next call I had to make was to his mother and she’s my best friend and my wife and for me to have to break that news to her was the worst thing I’ve ever had to do,” Johnson admitted.
Few details about the incident have been released, but authorities have described the shooting as “aggressive” and indicated that there were no signs of a struggle. Poston’s holstered firearm was found undisturbed inside his truck, suggesting that he never felt in danger or that Price took him by surprise.
With a suspect now in custody, Poston’s family is planning a Celebration of Life for Poston, set for Saturday evening, to reflect on the good times, remembering Poston as an All-American kid who just wanted to take care of his five-year-old daughter.
“Football, basketball, baseball, a small-town kid. He loved everybody and everybody loved him. He was always laughing and joking around,” Johnson said. “That’s all he ever wanted to do was be a good dad to her.”
Meanwhile, Johnson described the support from the tight-knit Grafton community as overwhelming.
“The phone calls, the texts, the donations, the flowers, the condolences and prayers have just been outstanding and we can’t thank everyone enough.”
The Celebration of Life is planned for Saturday at 6:30 at the Tygart Lake Public Golf Course. Raffles will begin at 7:00 and paper lanterns being released and a candle light vigil scheduled to begin at 8:00.