UPDATE: Judy Petty's Family Holds Vigil 7 Years After Murder

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UPDATE 2/7/2015 6:00 PM
It's been seven years since the tragic death of Judy Petty, and still the Petty family is searching for answers.

Members of the Petty family gathered at Jackson Memorial Park Saturday afternoon to hold a vigil for parents who have lost children to murder.
Flowers and pictures of Judy were placed at the site, and those attending remembered her fondly. The Petty family wanted to express their thanks to the community for their support, and to ask community members to keep an eye on their signs.
The family has been putting up signs around the area, with contact information for anyone who knows about Judy's killer. They say that many of their signs have gone missing.

UPDATE 2/6/2015 6:00 PM

Friday marks seven years since she went missing.

Four days laterher remians were found on the family farm.

Judy Petty's family is still looking for answers and not giving up hope.

It was February 6, 2008 when Judy Petty went for a walk.

Her family says a man picked her up but they don't know if she went willingly.

The family farm on Route 31 in Wood County was destroyed by a fire that same week.

Petty's remains were found on the property.

The sheriff's department says an excelerant was used to start the fire.

The family believes the fire was a cover for Petty's murder.

"It takes one tip. It only takes one person to pick up that phone. Even if they think it's a small thing it could be the biggest thing to break this case. I just open my heart up to the public to still go back to seven years ago. anybody, if they think there's anything they may know. I'm just hoping and praying this year it gets solved," said Petty's sister, Kelly Poiari.

The family says they're grateful for all the hard work put in by detectives who are still working on this case.

2:00 p.m. Saturday at Jackson Park in Vienna, a vigil will be held at the bench for parents who have lost their children to murder.

UPDATE 2/6/2014 4:35 PM

Six years ago today no one could find her.

Then four days later her remains were found on the family farm.

Judy Petty's family isn't giving up its search for answers.

Judy Petty went for a walk on February 6, 2008.

Her family says a man picked her up but they don't know if she went willingly.

He says he dropped Petty off at the family farm off Route 31 in Wood County.

That week the whole farm was destroyed in a fire and Petty's remains were found on the property.

The sheriff's office says an accelerant started the fire.

The family thinks more than one person was involved and the fire was a cover up for a murder.

"I will work this case until the day I die. I know my family won't give up. We're a strong willed family. I love my sister, I miss her dearly. This makes me angry. I think that every year that goes by the pain gets deeper and deeper because I just can't believe somebody won't confess or somebody won't come forward to bring peace to the family," says Kelly Poiani.

The sheriff's office says this is still an active case and they continue to follow up on leads.

If you have any information call the anonymous tip line for the sheriff's office at 304-834-3909.

Updated: 7/26/2013 6:20 P.M.

Signs along several area streets are there to remind people of a death which happened more than five years ago. They're located on Emerson Avenue, on U.S. 50, along with posters and banners.

So far, the only responses have been on a website in honor of the victim, judith petty.

"They will get on there and say, 'we're praying for you'," says Cheryl Ullom, Petty's sister, "and 'we hope you'll get the answers you need'."

It was in mid-February of 2008 when Petty's remains were found by a family member in a family-owned farm destroyed by a fire. She had been missing for several days before that. The signs are a way to keep the investigation in the public eye.

"We want answers and we're not getting them, and we're getting upset," Ullom says, "because we're told 'we'll get in contact with you every so often, to let you know how things are going'. But we don't get contacted."

Sheriff's office Chief Deputy Shawn Graham told us Friday there is no new information that has surfaced in the Petty investigation.

The signs post two numbers to call with information on the case.

One is the Wood County Sheriff's Office, at (304) 424-1834.

The other is the suspicious activity hotline, at (304) 834-3909.


A case gone cold.

"But what we're hoping for is that some way, some how, some body giving us information to help us get some closure," says Judith's mother Joan Petty.

On February 7, 2008, Parkersburg Police asked for help finding a missing woman. Judith Petty.

The next morning her father went to look for her at his farm and instead found the property on fire.

"It was still burning when he found it. And he's the one who found the rest of them and told them," she says.

Judith's remains were found in burning debris in what the family calls the cellar house.

They say she never would've gone in that building by herself. They believe she was murdered and the fire was a cover-up.

"We know they have been looking into it. And they need help. If there is somebody out there that knows what happened, knows people involved. We need them to contact the sheriff's department and come forward," says Judith's sister Wanda Petty.

Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy wasn't in office during the initial investigation, but has since worked with deputies on this case.

"We have interviewed numerous individuals and we have canvassed the area where the fire took place to determine if there were any potential witnesses available for us. Currently we're at a standstill in the investigation. We have exhausted all of our investigative leads," says Sandy.

Sheriff Sandy says an accelerant did start the fire, but they don't know whether it was used by someone starting a fire to stay warm or if it was an arsonist.

If you have any information on this case call the Wood County Sheriff's Office at 304-424-1834.

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