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Posted January 12, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Remains found; cold case reopened

Affidavit: Stephens City man went missing after being assaulted with baseball bat in 1993

By Candace Sipos -- csipos@nvdaily.com

STEPHENSON -- County officials are investigating whether remains found in Pittsylvania County on Jan. 5 might be those of a Stephens City man who went missing after being assaulted with a baseball bat on Oct. 30, 1993.

William David Dudley went missing from his girlfriend's mobile home in Stephenson on that date, when he was 35. After years of investigation, Dudley was never found and was declared "legally dead" upon the family's request, according to an affidavit filed with a search warrant Wednesday to obtain medical records from Winchester Medical Center.

Investigator K.C. Bohrer of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division received a call on Jan. 5 from Paul Yokum with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner informing him of the skeletal remains found more than 200 miles away, according to the affidavit.

The office has requested all of Dudley's dental and medical records, including X-ray results, and any buccal swabs from known family members to determine whether the DNA matches that of the remains.

Dudley was at his girlfriend's mobile home on Oct. 30, 1993, intoxicated, when he became involved in a domestic disturbance with her, the affidavit reads. Two men who lived nearby overheard the fight and came to help Dudley's girlfriend, who was related to one of the men.

An altercation started among the men and Dudley was hit by a baseball bat by one of the other two men, according to the document. It does not name either of the men or Dudley's girlfriend.

The investigation opened after tahe incident under the direction of investigator Greg Lambert, who continued the search for answers until he retired from the county Sheriff's Office.

"Many leads, theories, tips etc were investigated, but William Dudley has never been found," the affidavit reads.

Authorities interviewed the two men directly following the incident, but they later refused to talk, obtained lawyers and would not submit to polygraph tests about Dudley's disappearance.

"Many years later," Dudley's family requested that he be legally declared dead, but Bohrer began investigating the incident in 2010 as a cold case, after receiving new information about his "disappearance and possible location of his remains," the document reads.

The investigation is now open as a missing person/possible homicide case.

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