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Devastating Mix Up

By: Elizabeth Green Email
By: Elizabeth Green Email

Two Mid-Ohio Valley families trying to mourn the loss of two daughters are going through even more grief after a major mix-up at the state Medical Examiner's office.

Judith Petty, of Parkersburg, was killed in a fire at her family's farm February 7th.

The next day, a house fire in Jackson County took the lives of two-year old Victoria Starcher, and four-year old Joseph Starcher.

Remains of all three were at the state Medical Examiner's office in Charleston, until the Starcher's funeral service last week.

Now, John Law with the Department of Health and Human Resources says there was a terrible mix-up, and the remains of a woman were given to the Starcher family to bury, instead of their daughter's remains.

The medical examiners office won't release that woman's identity, but Judith Petty's father, Marvin, tells us it was his daughter's remains.

He says they are going ahead with a planned memorial service Saturday, but won't be able to lay his daughter to rest.

Officials say disciplinary action could be taken if they find any wrongdoing.


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