Collier: Investigation has not been neglected

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Lawrence County authorities say they are continuing the investigation into the March death of Ironton resident Pamela Goldcamp, but say a lack of money and manpower hinders the work.

Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., said his office, investigators with the Ironton Police department and detectives with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office are actively pursuing information about Goldcamp's death.

But they have not yet determined exactly how she died, or whether or not foul play was involved in her death.

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"We take this very seriously, and it's frustrating," Collier said. "This is a tragic event that has affected the community and people want to know what happened."

Goldcamp's body was discovered in the early morning hours of March 28 along the railroad tracks near Mulberry Street. At some point, Goldcamp's body had been hit by a Norfolk and Southern freight train. Members of her family believe Goldcamp's death may have resulted from a botched robbery. They say Goldcamp had been playing games of chance earlier in the evening and may have been carrying sizeable winnings at the time of her death. They believe she was killed and her body then placed on the railroad tracks to cover what had happened.

Collier said all local agencies are struggling to do the best they can with what resources they have. In addition to the ongoing investigations such as the Goldcamp death, new cases such as the methamphetamine lab investigation late last week also compete for time, attention and meager resources.

"We get new things every day, and these things have to be investigated as well," Collier said. "I used to have four investigators. I now have two and one of those investigators handles juvenile cases."

Collier said the lack of resources has also hampered the investigation into the May 2000 death of Sureway cab driver William Keen. Keen was found in an alley off South Fourth Street between Ashtabula and Clinton streets in the early morning hours of May 10. He had suffered a stab wound and his throat appeared to have been cut. While two suspects were initially investigated, neither were charged in connection with the crime. The case remains open.

Collier said regardless of how long it takes to solve a case, local authorities are committed to doing so. He pointed to the 4-year-old murder mystery that went unsolved until this summer, when a new witness came forward with information that led to an indictment.

Joseph Spivey, 36, of Detroit, pleaded guilty in September to voluntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Darnell Foster, also of Detroit. Foster died Jan. 5, 1998, of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Authorities said the death was drug related.

Collier had said at the time of the guilty plea that the case had gone unsolved for so long because many of the witnesses were drug addicts and were not reliable for that reason. Collier said a more credible witness was found earlier this year thanks to efforts by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office to redouble its effort to solve the case. The new witness provided the necessary information that led to Spivey's indictment.

"We're hoping someone will come forward with information (about the Goldcamp case)," Collier said. "Even if they think it's silly, or heresay, we will investigate it. We invite any call. They can even be anonymous."

Anyone with information about the Goldcamp case may call the Lawrence County prosecutor’s office at 533-4360,

the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office at 532-3525, or the Ironton Police Department at 532-2338.