Two men arrested after woman’s body discovered inside freezer
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Two men are facing charges after a woman’s body was discovered by deputies wrapped in carpet and placed inside a freezer.
According to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, the daughter of Cynthia Mudd advised deputies that her mother had not been heard from for several months.
After a welfare check at 5135 Saulton Drive in Cross Lanes on Aug. 18, deputies say Mudd’s name was entered into the National Criminal Information Center’s database as a missing person after no one answered the door.
The next day, Aug. 19, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office went back to the home for another welfare check. While on scene, a neighbor told deputies Mudd’s dog had been acting odd and jumped her fence to eat her pet’s food.
The neighbor told deputies when she went to return Mudd’s dog, the dog began acting strange near a pile of stuff in the backyard. She also pointed deputies toward what she thought was a freezer placed under a tarp.
According to a criminal complaint, deputies did discover a freezer under a tarp with large flies swarming around it.
Documents state Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office detectives made entry to the freezer and found a roll of green carpet with rope tied around it.
Once the roll of carpet was lifted out of the freezer, the criminal complaint states detectives could smell decomposition and officials observed what was believed to be a deceased human being.
Further investigation uncovered that Samuel May and Arnold Hiller lived inside the home along Saulton Drive with Cynthia Mudd.
Deputies report Samuel May was located by Charleston Police on Aug. 23 near the Clay Center.
During an interview with officers, May admitted to killing Mudd, but said he was unable to give specific details because he “blacked out.”
May told officers he and Arnold Hiller blacked out after drinking at a bar. When they woke up the next morning, May said he noticed Mudd’s face was badly bruised. According to the complaint, Mudd told officers he “assumed he had something to do with the bruises but could not confirm.”
According to May, Mudd passed away a day or so later and he and Hiller put her body in the freezer. He explained they rolled her up in carpet, carried her out to the freezer and then took the freezer from the garage to the backyard.
May estimated that Mudd’s body was inside the freezer for roughly 30 days.
“People’s words, you know as well as I do, people say a lot of things whether that’s actually how it happened or not and that’s the most difficult part of our job,” said Chief Deputy Joe Crawford. “We’re going to work this until we get some conclusion, and we’re not giving up. So, that statement it is a statement. It’s in the complaint, but as you all know we have to prove beyond reasonable doubt.”
Following her death, May and Hiller were seen on surveillance video using Mudd’s debit card throughout Kanawha County, deputies report.
Arnold Hiller, 47, was arrested by officers with the Beckley Police Department without incident on Sept. 2, according to police.
A criminal complaint filed with Kanawha Magistrate Court states that Hiller was charged with fraud after using Mudd’s credit card.
Hiller and May have both been charged with the concealment of a deceased human body.
No one has been charged for Mudd’s death, but Crawford says Hiller and May are ‘focal points’ of the investigation.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says it has not received an officially ID from the state medical examiner’s office but say they do believe the body found inside the freezer is Mudd, 71.
“We think there’s people out there that have information, and we’re asking those people to come forward and bring that information to us so we can bring some closure to the family,” Crawford said. “Obviously, we have a family out there that’s wanting answers, and that’s our job. Our job is investigating, trying to determine the best we can what happened with the facts and be able to help bring closure to the family.”
The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information about May or Hiller to contact the office.
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