Police prepare to resume search at James Childers farm

October 29, 2009 · In early December, state police plan to search the creek bottoms with cadaver dogs for more bodies.

In June, Childers killed himself in a Clarksburg motel room, leaving behind information that led police to two bodies.

Meanwhile, Clarksburg Police are continuing an investigation into two cold cases they believe could be linked to Childers.

An initial search of the 96-acre property in Braxton County yielded the body of Carolyn Sauerwein, of Philippi.

State police suspended the search in June to review evidence and wait until the area is easier to navigate.

Now, state police are close to resuming that search. State Police Capt. Steven Dawson is the Troop Commander with Troop 3 in Elkins.

“What we are planning is another search of the creek bottom areas,” he said.

“I’m satisfied of the search we conducted in the other areas of the property, but given the thick undergrowth in the summertime, I’d like to have a better look, and give the cadaver dogs a better chance to search it thoroughly.”

The 96-acre property is topographically rigorous.

There is little flat ground and several rocky hillsides.

Capt. Dawson says that can create several problems when trying to search the property.

“One of the things we encountered when we had the backhoe up there digging up some of those areas where it looked like you could bury somebody, you dig down two or three feet with a backhoe and then you are in the rock,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Clarksburg Police continue to investigate two cold cases from 2004 that may be linked to Childers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation named Childers a prime suspect in one of the cases.

Clarksburg Police Detective Michael Walsh says he’s gathering evidence by examining autopsy reports and contacting victims’ family members.

“We’re trying to dig up as many facts and as much evidence as we can to either say Childers did this, what he said, or he was responsible for this death, just so the families can have some closure,” he said.

Before he died, Childers sent audio recordings to Clarksburg Police linking himself to as many as five murders and four arsons, including his own house.

The information led police to two bodies, Sauerwein and Carrie Lynn Baker of Clarksburg.

The FBI classified Childers as a serial killer after its investigation began this summer.

Clarksburg Police later found in Childers’ house a hit list of potential victims. One of the names on the list was Baker.

The other names on the list are of women who are not missing.

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