Sheriff looking for financial link to murder

Frances Moss-Hopkins

Authorities with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant earlier this month seeking financial evidence in a murder case.

Authorities seized various paperwork and jewelry from a safe deposit box at the Bank of Clarke County, at 2 E. Main St., Berryville, belonging to Peg Sinclair, an 85-year-old woman who was slain last month, according to the search warrant.

The search follows the arrest of Frances Charlene Moss-Hopkins, 55, in June. Authorities charged Hopkins, who worked as Sinclair’s caretaker for one year prior to her death, with first-degree murder.

According to the search warrant, investigators have found information suggesting Hopkins had access to and control over Sinclair’s finances, was named in her will, embezzled money from her accounts, and that the two had visited the Bank of Clarke County days before Sinclair’s disappearance.

The timing of the embezzlement coincided closely in time with Sinclair’s disappearance, according to the warrant.

Peg Sinclair

Additionally, more information suggested that Sinclair was going to confront Hopkins about the embezzlement, according to the warrant.

The search was part of the ongoing investigation into Sinclair’s alleged murder. She was first reported missing June 18.

After authorities arrested Moss-Hopkins, she led them to an area off of Scotty’s Gully Road in Romney, West Virginia, where human remains were found. An autopsy of the remains is still awaiting positive identity.

According to earlier court documents filed in Clarke County Circuit Court, papers found near a desktop computer in Moss-Hopkins’ home have writings of “does Clorox really clean up Blood.” Additional items seized at her home include two bags of charcoal, one bottle of bleach, a computer tower, a hard drive, a cell phone, bed sheets with stains and papers.

Moss-Hopkins is set to appear in Frederick County General District Court at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com