30-year-old cold case solved; man charged in connection with 1993 murder

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Huntington police released additional information Tuesday about a murder investigation from 1993.

Man charged in Huntington cold case murder from nearly 30 years ago

On March 16, 1993, officers were called to a shooting in the 1400 block of 4 ½ alley, police said in a release.

The victim was shot in the torso and received lacerations to her head, according to police. The victim was initially identified as Lisa Estepp, but upon further investigation, she was identified by her legal name, Melissa Martinez.

According to the news release, further investigation into the death at the time revealed that the victim’s legal name was Melissa Martinez. During the investigation, several witnesses were interviewed 29 years ago, and the information they provided led detectives to interview Ricky Woody, 59,

Woody was considered a prime suspect in Martinez’s death, but there was insufficient evidence to charge him with the crime.

Woody moved from Huntington to Billings, Montana, within a year of Martinez’s death.

In December of 2020, officials say Woody was arrested in Montana on charges not related to Martinez’s death.

In May 2021, detectives with the Billings Police Department contacted the Huntington Police Department and indicated they had taken a statement from Woody regarding a murder that occurred in Huntington in the early 1990s.

Woody claimed that he knew the person responsible for killing a woman known to him as “Lisa.” Woody provided what details he could recall to detectives, and ultimately admitted that he had participated in her death.

After receiving this information, Huntington Police detectives reviewed the case file from 1993 and interviewed Woody in September 2021 at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility in Montana.

A Cabell County grand jury indicted Woody in September 2022 and he was officially charged with murder in October 2022.

Woody is currently in custody at Yellowstone County Detention Facility in Montana, investigators say.

He will be extradited to Huntington after a pending case in Montana is resolved.

Woody is being held on several felony charges, including being a fugitive from justice and assault with a weapon. His bond is $50,000.

For previous coverage >>> CLICK HERE.

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