Deputies: Man admits to killing missing wife, leads authorities to body

Local News

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – The Kanawha County Sherriff’s Office says that James Kiser, 40, of Kenna, West Virginia, confessed to killing his missing wife, Crystal Dawn Kiser. James led detectives to the location of the shallow grave where deputies believe the body of Crystal is located. Crystal was last seen on Friday, August 9, 2019. 

Deputies say on Thursday, September 5, 2019, James was interviewed and admitted to killing his wife, Crystal Dawn Kiser, during an argument at her grandmother’s house on Lessie Lane, near Sissonville, West Virginia, and taking her body to a remote location in Kentuck, West Virginia.  There he buried her body in a shallow grave.

On Sunday, August 11, 2019, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office began asking for the public’s help to find Crystal. She lived in Jackson County but was staying at a relatives house in Sissonville when she was reported missing. The mother of two was house-sitting for her sick grandmother when she vanished.

James Kiser

Deputies say the investigation included reviewing several hundred hours of video from businesses and residences.  Electronic records were also reviewed, and several hundred hours of interviews and searches were conducted.

On Friday, August 30, 2019, what would be Crystal’s 38th birthday, her family held a candlelight vigil in her honor. “She would never ever in a million years, not be in contact with her children. And on top of that, she would have never left her grandmother ill. There is just no way — no way — that she walked up and left,” said her cousin Kelly Boggess George on the night of the vigil.

Forensic investigators with the Kanawha Bureau of Investigations along with Investigators for the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office will be exhuming the body.

James Kiser has been charged with 1st-degree murder. 

This combined effort involved the cooperation of the following agencies:

  • Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kanawha Bureau of Investigations with emphasis to the Saint Albans Police Department and South Charleston Police Department
  • Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
  • WV K-9 Search and Rescue
  • Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit
  • WV Division of Forestry
  • Charleston Area Medical Center Security Department

This is a developing story, and we will continue to update it on, the WOWK 13 News App, and on 13 News on air.

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