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Three Arrested In Connection With Body Found In Kanawha River

Reported by: Send eMail Mamie Buoy, Katy Brown, Sean Delancey
Reported: Jul. 5, 2014 1:49 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 6, 2014 11:48 AM EDT

Body Found
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

We have new information on the murder of a Charleston man whose body was found in the Kanawha River Saturday afternoon.

Police say 51-year-old Martin Snodgrass suffered blunt force trauma.

Anthony Harriman and John Thurmond are both charged with first degree murder. Erica Cogar is charged with accessory to murder.

According to the criminal complaint, Cogar told police Snodgrass offered to sell her drugs and then led her away from the camp where she was staying. She says Snodgrass began rubbing her shoulder and ripped her shirt. Cogar said she ran away and yelled for help.

Cogar told police Thurmond, who was her boyfriend, came to help her. Thurmond told police he chased Snodgrass, hit him twice after he fell to the ground and then ran from the scene. Thurmond was wearing a cast and told police he never hit Snodgrass with it, but officers say they found blood on it. Thurmond says Harriman was actually standing over Snodgrass after he fell to the ground taunting him.

Police say when they questioned Harriman, he told them Thurmond attacked Snodgrass first, and he only jumped in when Snodgrass began fighting back. Harriman then said Thurmond hit Snodgrass in the face with his cast multiple times while he was on the ground. He says Snodgrass was still breathing when Thurmond went through his pockets before throwing him in the river.

Police say Snodgrass was missing his cellphone and his wallet.

Harriman allegedly told police he and Thurmond planned on filing a false police report after the murder to avoid being arrested.

Cogar, Harriman and Thurmond are all in the South Central Regional Jail.

Three people were arrested Saturday evening, in connection with the death of a man whose body was found on the bank of the Kanawha River earlier in the day.

Anthony Hairman and John Thurmond were both charged with first degree murder. Erica Cogar was charged with accessory to murder. Her bond is set at $100,000

Their court date is set for July 15.

Charleston police said Martin Snodgrass' family reported him missing Saturday morning, after he didn't return from collecting cans along the Kanawha River Friday night.

They were also concerned when he didn't show up for work at the Kanawha City Bob Evans.

That's when police began searching the area where he usually went to collect those cans and found his body floating near the bank. People in the area said this is shocking.

"Maybe a drowning or something,” Ed Anderson of Charleston said. :I expected that. Something criminal, no. It's just not the same town anymore."

Charleston police officers have recovered a body from the Kanawha River.

911 dispatchers said the body of a man was found in the river near Magic Island at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

At this time, it is unclear how the man died.

Eyewitness News has a crew on the scene. Stay tuned for more information.

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