Jennifer Bucholtz


In February 2008, someone killed Judy Petty near Parkersburg, W.Va. Her father found her remains, burnt beyond recognition, in the cellar of an outbuilding on her family’s farm.

Sadly, her killer has never been brought to justice. To help her family, members of the University’s volunteer cold case team have conducted a renewed investigation into this unsolved murder.

Details on their investigation and progress can be found in three ways:

The Cold Case Team Will Be in Parkersburg During the First Week of February 2023

To commemorate the 15-year anniversary of Judy Petty’s death, the University’s cold case team will travel to Parkersburg on the first weekend of February 2023. They plan to meet with investigator Doug Sturm who is assigned to Judy’s case, speak with persons of interest and conduct additional on-the-ground investigation.

Additionally, the team will host a meet-and-greet and a raffle to increase the reward fund established for Judy’s case. The meet-and-greet will be held at the North End Tavern & Brewery at 3500 Emerson Drive in Parkersburg) from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Several of Judy’s family members will be in attendance. Anyone in the local area is welcome to attend; they can meet the cold case team members and other case followers, learn more about the team’s methodology, and participate in the raffle. All proceeds from the raffle will be added to the reward fund, currently at $5,200.

George Jared and I will be in attendance signing copies of our true crime book, Silent Silhouette. which details our previous investigation into the unsolved murder of Deborah Sue Williamson. Proceeds from book sales will assist the cold case team’s travel expenses.

Prior to the meet-and-greet, George and I will be giving a presentation on our team’s work on various cold cases and hosting a book signing immediately afterwards. The presentation will begin at 11 a.m. at the Emerson Branch of the Parkersburg and Wood County Library, located at 3100 Emerson Avenue in Parkersburg. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.

Any questions regarding the presentation, meet-and-greet or offers to donate items for the raffle may be directed to

Readers Can Submit Tips about the Case of Judy Petty

Anyone with information about Judy Petty’s death can email our confidential tip address at or call the team’s tip line at 224-225-5208. Readers may also contact Doug Sturm, investigator for the Wood County Prosecuting Attorney’s office at 304-424-1776. All tipsters are guaranteed confidentiality and anonymity if they request it.