Melanie Renee Metheny

Metheny, circa 2005; Joey Keith Jeffrey

  • Missing Since 07/19/2006
  • Missing From Belle, West Virginia
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 06/21/1985 (38)
  • Age 21 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'3, 100 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Gold and tan 1998 Chevrolet minivan with the West Virginia license plate number US8255 (accounted for), red SUV
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, brown eyes. Metheny has a surgical scar on her left ankle. Her ears are pierced. She smokes Sonoma cigarettes.

Details of Disappearance

Metheny was last seen at approximately 8:00 a.m. on July 19, 2006, after dropping her three children off at the Country Kids Daycare facility in the vicinity of the 3000 block of east Dupont Avenue in Belle, West Virginia. Metheny planned to go to the Garnet Career Center, an adult education program she was enrolled with, to pick up her transcripts so she could register for classes at West Virginia State University.

The last contact with her was at 9:00 a.m., when she called an automobile body shop on her cellular phone to verify an upcoming appointment. Some person, possibly Metheny, dialed her voice mail from her cellular phone at 9:30 a.m. She has never been heard from again. She was reported missing that evening, after she failed to pick up her children from the day care facility as scheduled.

On July 23, Metheny's gold and tan 1998 Chevrolet minivan with the West Virginia license plate number US8255 was located abandoned in the vicinity of Wyoming Street and Beuhring Avenue in Charleston, West Virginia, in an area known for its drug activity.

The vehicle had been at that location at least since 2:00 p.m. the day Metheny went missing; neighbors noticed it there, but did not connect it to her disappearance for several days. The doors were locked and the van was intact with CDs inside, but it had apparently been wiped clean of fingerprints. The only items missing were Metheny's purse and cellular phone.

No evidence of Metheny's whereabouts was uncovered at the scene, but several items were found on the minivan's front seat, including a business card and a piece of paper with a phone number and a notation about a house for sale.

On the afternoon of the day Metheny disappeared, a witness reported seeing a young woman struggling to get out of a red SUV on the west side of Charleston. The woman was yelling "What about my babies?" The SUV has never been located and the woman has never been identified. Investigators believe she could have been Metheny, however.

Authorities got a new lead in Metheny's case in the fall of 2013, after Cindy Creathers admitted to helping her boyfriend, drug dealer Joey Keith Jeffrey, kidnap and torture another woman, Jeffrey's cousin, in December 2012.

Creathers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery with threat of deadly force and agreed to testify against Jeffrey in exchange for a sentence of one to five years in prison. She told the court that during the incident, Jeffrey mentioned Metheny and said, "I'm going to put you in the same hole I put her in."

A photo of Jeffrey is posted with this case summary. He is considered a person of interest in Metheny's case and has been questioned about her disappearance, although he hasn't faced any charges relating to it. In 2014, he was convicted of second-degree robbery, malicious wounding and assault. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 24 years.

Metheny is described as a quiet person. She used drugs socially, but was not known as a heavy user. She was formerly a student at Riverside High School and dreamed of becoming a nurse, and she was saving up money so she could rent a house. At the time of her disappearance, Metheny lived part time on Midland Avenue in Belle and part time with her boyfriend in Campbells Creek, West Virginia.

Her family suspects foul play was involved in her case, as it is uncharacteristic of her to abandon her children. Her case remains unsolved.

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 24, 2014; details of disappearance updated.