Details of Disappearance Starina was last seen at her residence in Charleston, West Virginia on March 10, 2016. She and her husband, Arthur "Owen" Woods, had just moved from Mount Lookout, West Virginia to a new house on Lance Drive in Charleston. They had a "heated" domestic dispute at home the day she vanished, which turned Owen admits became violent, and she has never been heard from again.
A photo of Owen is posted with this case summary. Owen used Starina's debit card multiple times after her disappearance and also sold her car. He didn't report his wife missing. He told a neighbor Starina had moved to Oklahoma, and told police she'd stolen $29,000 from his bank account and run away to Ecuador with her ex-husband.
Starina had communicated on Facebook with a male friend, saying her relationship with Owen was abusive. In her Facebook conversations with the man, Starina speculated about taking money from Owen's bank accounts and said she wanted to go to Ecuador with the man. However, she had never previously left the country and she didn't have a passport at the time of her disappearance. The man she was communicating with was later interviewed by police and said he never personally met Starina and she stopped contacting him in March, and there is no record of a $29,000 withdrawal from Owen's accounts.
Starina's cellular phone was never used after March 11, 2016, but someone used her debit card to make purchases and pay bills. One of the things purchased was minutes for a pre-pay phone. The purchase was made on Owen's work computer; Owen was also photographed withdrawing money from Starina's account at an ATM. He continued to use the card until May 2016, after which the bank froze Starina's account; by this time, it had a several hundred dollar negative balance.
Family members reported Starina missing on May 19, 2016, over two months after she was last seen. Investigators subsequently found a significant amount of blood at the couple's home, some of which was visible to the naked eye, but most of which was not, because someone had cleaned up. There were bloodstains on the front door, on the stairs and in the living room.
In 2018, Owen was arrested for fraud in connection with the use of his wife's debit card, but the charge was later dismissed. In May 2019, Owen was charged with Starina's murder. He reached a plea agreement with the prosecution and pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in November 2020. He was sentenced to three years in prison.
Starina left behind two children, both of whom were living in Virginia at the time of her disappearance. Her body has never been found, but foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
- Charleston Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 7, 2021; details of disappearance updated.