Charleston, WV – Although a Kanawha County grand jury has issued six indictments, the South Charleston Police Department is continuing its investigation into the disappearance of a Chapmanville Police K-9.
South Charleston Police Chief Brad Rinehart told the media that the grand jury charged former Chapmanville police officer Marcus Dudley with crimes related to the disappearance of the K-9, Chase.
Rinehart said Dudley is charged with three counts of falsely reporting an emergency, two counts of making false statements and obstructing a police officer and one count of animal cruelty. All six charges are misdemeanors.
Dudley reported Chase was missing on April 11. Although the K-9 was assigned to the Chapmanville PD, he resided wìth Dudley, who at that time lived in South Charleston. He has since moved out of state, police reported.
The handler reported that the K-9 jumped the fence and escaped his South Charleston residence. Chase had finished his training the past March before working with Dudley and the Chapmanville PD.
SCPD found that Dudley’s statements “weren’t adding up,” according to Rinehart.
A few days after Dudley reported Chase missing, his trainer was quoted as saying he did not believe the officer’s story that the K-9 simply ran away.
WOWK-TV reported yesterday that Rinehart said, “South Charleston Police Department conducted an extensive investigation into the disappearance of police canine, Chase. The investigation was presented to the Kanawha County Grand Jury, who returned an indictment against Marcus Dudley. SCPD has received a tremendous amount of community support and assistance in its efforts to find Chase. “Unfortunately, he has yet to be located. However, SCPD remains committed to finding Chase,” he concluded.
The Chapmanville Police Chief released this statement to the TV station Thursday night:
“From day one, the Town of Chapmanville and Chapmanville Police Department have cooperated with South Charleston Police Department in the investigation of our missing K-9, Chase. The Town and its police department are hopeful that the actions of the Kanawha County Grand Jury will help to shed light on this unfortunate situation and ultimately obtain justice for Chase.”
A community candlelight service was held earlier in Chapmanville to honor the missing K-9.
Marcus was initially placed on administrative leave. Dudley completed the WV Police Academy in November, 2021. On April 24, the CPD said he was no longer employed by the department.
The results of the investigation were turned over to Prosecutor Charles T. Miller on June 21.
This is a developing story that will be updated as events warrant.