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Law enforcement investigating Burns case near Chesapeake

FBI, Lawrence sheriff, Huntington police on site

CHESAPEAKE — Members of multiple law enforcement agencies were on site Monday at a home outside of Chesapeake, following up on information related to the 2002 disappearance and murder of a Marshall University student.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said that members of his department are working with those from the FBI and a forensics team from the Huntington Police Department at the property on Township Road 1466 in connection with the case of Samantha Burns.

Burns, who was 19, was kidnapped from the Huntington Mall parking lot in 2002 by Brandon Basham and Chadrick Fulks, who had escaped a Kentucky jail to go on a 17-day interstate crime spree.

The two pled guilty to her murder, and were also convicted for that of Alice Donovan, 44, of South Carolina. Burns’ remains have never been found, despite numerous searches of sites in Wayne County, West Virginia. Basham and Fulks have told investigators that Burns’ body was disposed of in the Guyandotte River.

Over the weekend, a post on social media regarding the case generated attention, when a man in a video claimed he was told Burns had been buried at his property at the Chesapeake location.

Lawless said those on site, led by the FBI, were following up, based on the information from the video.

“They’re trying to see if there’s any validity to it,” he said.

He said some digging and sifting of the soil has taken place at the site and he expects investigators to be on site for a few days.