MEIGS COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – The body of a man found under a barge in Marshall County, West Virginia, has been identified as a man wanted for attempted murder in Meigs County, Ohio.
According to the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, the West Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the body as that of Christopher Cowdery, 34, of Reedsville, Ohio. The sheriff’s office says Cowdery’s official cause of death has been determined as “drowning” and authorities do not believe there was any foul play in his death.
Authorities in Marshall County said on Sept. 13, 2023, that a body was found under a barge in the Ohio River near the Mitchell Plant in Marshall County as the barges were being separated. The barge was one of 15 that had come up the Kanawha and Ohio rivers from Charleston.
The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office said on Sept. 12, just a day before the body was found that Cowdery was wanted on several charges out of Meigs County. The charges stem from an incident in which a woman was found in need of medical attention in a field in Reedsville.
After the incident, Tammy Putman told WOWK 13 News the victim, her daughter Jessica Marshall, suffered several injuries to her head, including having her nose allegedly “bitten off.”
The family and the sheriff’s office say that Marshall is out of the hospital but still recovering from her injuries.
“I would like to thank everyone that provided leads, tips, and information to the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office to assist us in locating Mr. Cowdery.” said Meigs County Sheriff Scott Fitch. “I would also like to thank the United States Marshal Service (USMS) and other area law enforcement agencies for aiding in the search for Christopher Cowdery. This has been a horrific event that has highly affected our community and we are sending thoughts and prayers to all involved.”
This is a developing story, and we will update this article as more information becomes available.