Remains found hoped to be missing Jasper women
by Rachel Davis
Aug 16, 2013 | 4359 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wanda Faye Kiser
Wanda Faye Kiser
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Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair and Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe announced at a Thursday morning press conference that Wanda Faye Kiser, 61, of West Virginia, was in the custody of West Virginia State Police on charges of concealing a dead body or aiding and abetting someone else in concealing a dead body.

Kiser has long been linked to the mysterious disappearance of 104-year-old Mary Cobb and her 83-year-old daughter Wynona Delvecchio in 2002.

The skeletal human remains were reportedly found by West Virginia authorities on Wednesday and were transported to the office of the medical examiner for identification. Adair said a local orthopedic doctor released X-rays from one of the elderly women that he believes will be useful in speeding up the identification process for these skeletal remains.

Although no identification has been made yet, authorities are hopeful that the remains belong to Cobb and/or Delvecchio. Adair called the situation “fluid” and would not yet say if the remains were that of one person or two.

Last year, a skull, missing the lower jaw, was recovered underneath the former residence of the women in the South Lowell subdivision of Jasper. That skull was sent to the University of Texas, where DNA experts are working to retrieve genetic material that could be used to identify its owner. Experts who have inspected the skull said it was from a frail, elderly, white female.

Law enforcement veterans Adair and Rowe touted this case as one of the most bizarre they had ever seen.

Both women were residents in a local nursing home when Kiser checked them out in order to care for them at home. No record exists of either woman being seen again publicly after being removed from the nursing home.

“This is just tragic,” Adair said during the press conference. “We’ve got elderly people being preyed on by predators, and this is just one example.”

Adair said he does believe the women were targeted for their retirement checks, and he hopes this will serve as a wake-up call to the area residents to keep a closer eye on elderly friends and neighbors, particularly those without family members of their own.

After the disappearance of the women, railroad retirement officials who were checking on Cobb raised the alarm and launched an investigation that eventually resulted in Kiser being charged for wire fraud related to Cobb’s pension. During the investigation, Kiser reportedly attempted to pass off another, unrelated elderly woman as Cobb, but authorities determined it was not her. She was charged with the fraud in 2004 and in 2006 she pled guilty to stealing more than $10,000 in retirement money intended for Cobb.

Kiser is already facing a 17-count indictment for forgery relating to Cobb’s retirement funds and other documents filed last month by Adair. If convicted, each second-degree forgery charge is a Class C Felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. She has been fighting extradition on that case since early July.

The concealing of a body charge is a felony in West Virginia, and, if convicted, carries a penalty of one to five years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000.