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Dunbar Man Charged In Woman's Murder After Body Found In River

Reported: Feb. 10, 2014 4:07 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 11, 2014 9:16 AM EST
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DUNBAR, W.Va. (Kera Mashek) -- A man is facing first-degree murder charges in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found in the Kanawha River Monday afternoon.

A South Charleston student riding the bus spotted what looked like a body in the river about 3:30 p.m., and that is what allowed what is now a murder investigation to unfold.

Police went to the Kanawha River below the Dunbar bridge to investigate a report of a body floating in the water.

"Two South Charleston officers responded over here and found the body of a female that was partially naked laying in the water," said Dunbar Police Chief Jess Bailes.

And not long after officers released that information, police said Bobby Kanode, 55, turned himself into Dunbar police, saying he had killed her. Court documents said Kanode confessed to suffocating his girlfriend, Tonya Payne, after a fight back on Friday night, putting her body into a shopping cart early Saturday, and dumping her over the fishing barge into the freezing river below.

Eyewitness News took a thermometer to test just how cold the water really is, and it's so chilly our thermometer had a tough time reading the temperature of the water, but it looks to be right around the freezing mark of 32 degrees.

"It's very, very cold, yes. And for her to be out there in her state of dress is rare," Bailes said.

And for people living in the area, it's deeply upsetting for a young woman to be found, so helpless, cold, and left dead in the river.

"It's a crying shame is what it is. Why do people have to act the way they do? I mean we're supposed to be human beings, not animals. And it's just sad that people have to act that way and do the things they do. It's just so sick," said Fred Armstrong of St. Albans.

Kanode is being held in the South Central Regional Jail without bond as police continue to investigate the case.




DUNBAR, W.Va. (Jessica Sampson, Kera Mashek) -- Police have made an arrest in the case of a body found in the Kanawha River Monday afternoon.

Dunbar Police say Bobby Kanode of Dunbar turned himself into police Monday evening. They say Kanode walked into the police station and told police he murdered the victim, Tonya Payne. He said the two had an intimate relationship, and that after a fight on February 8th that he held the victim down and suffocated her.
Kanode then got a shopping cart from a nearby store and took Payne's body to the Dunbar Village area. He then dumped her body near the fishing barge along the Kanawha River.

Kanode is charged with first degree murder, he was taken to South Central Regional Jail




DUNBAR, W.Va. (Kera Mashek, Jeff Morris, Bethany Simmons) -- Foul play is not being ruled out after a body of a woman was found Monday in the Kanawha River.

The woman appeared to be in her 20s, and the body was partially clothed. It was spotted by a student on a nearby bus.

Eyewitness News has a crew on the scene. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.




DUNBAR, W.Va. (Bethany Simmons) - Police were investigating after the body of a woman was found Monday in the Kanawha River.

The body was found discovered about 3:30 p.m. in the Dunbar area. Investigators haven't released the name of the victim.

Eyewitness News has a crew on the scene. Keep checking wchstv.com for updates.



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