High School Football

Renewed effort to find remains of WVU coeds murdered in 1970

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A crime scene dig connected to the 1970 WVU coed murders is continuing south of Morgantown.

Mared Malarik, left, and Karen Ferrell were murdered in 1970. (Photo/coedmurders.com)

Two groups of crime scene specialists began the dig last week looking for what may be left of remains belong to Mared Malarik and Karen Ferrell. Their bodies were found not long after their murders but their heads were never located.

State police are overseeing the new search that began after information submitted from a former member of the National Guard who unit that helped locate the bodies 52 years ago.

Geoffrey Fuller, co-author of the book “The WVU Coed Murders: Who Killed Mared and Karen?”, which was originally published last fall said he knows the man who submitted the new information to investigators.

“He’s a very earnest, hardworking man and he had developed his own theories from a new reading of some information we had put in the book and with that he had come up with other theories of the crime,” Fuller said during an interview Monday on MetroNews “Talkline.”

The Morgantown Dominion Post newspaper was the first to report on the new efforts.

“It’s an ongoing investigation and definitely worth our time and effort to be here,” retired state police Lt. Michael Kief told the newspaper. “We want to see full closure.”

Sarah James McLaughlin, who co-authored the book with Fuller, said it is important to continue to look for what’s never been found.

“It’s important because these girls still matter and we don’t really know what happened to them and even if a lot of their family members are gone there’s still a lot of people who were very close to them and really care and hope they can get some closure in this case,” McLaughlin said on “Talkline” Monday.

Fuller agreed.

“It happened when I was a kid and a lot of people have been wondering about it in the back of their minds for 50 years.

Fuller said searching someplace for something after more than 50 years may prove impossible to find but he believes the teams are looking in the right place, south of Morgantown near Goshen Road.

“It’s near where the bodies were found and where a lot of the stuff was distributed that was taken from the girls—-so it makes sense,” Fuller said.

Malarik and Ferrell were freshmen students and were in downtown on a night in January 1970 when they decided to catch a ride back to their dorm. They were never seen alive again.

Eugene Paul Clawson, who originally confessed to the murders and then recanted, was convicted in two separate trials.

Both Fuller and McLaughlin have concluded in their podcast series that it was someone else who murdered Malarik and Ferrell.

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