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UPDATE: Body found near burned vehicle of West Virginia missing man

Updated: Jul 2, 2018

FIELDALE – On June 27, 2018, a burned car and body was found at the end of River Road in Henry County. As the investigation continues, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office wants to update the public.

While investigating this as a possible homicide, another path is developing. Shortly after arriving on scene, Henry County Sheriff’s Office learned the Mercury car was from West Virginia and the registered owner was listed as a missing person. Henry County Sheriff’s Office started communicating with the West Virginia State Police and learned John Wesley Buscher, 76, of Berkeley Springs, WV was listed as missing and believed to be traveling in the Mercury. Henry County Sheriff’s Office was able to obtain video footage of Buscher entering a convenience store in Bassett to pay for gas around 11:27 PM on June 16, 2018. Approximately 15 minutes later, a car like Buscher’s is captured on video going down River Road and after watching the video, the car never comes out. The approximate 15 minute time difference is the approximate drive time from the convenience store to that point on River Road. No other vehicles were seen in this proximity for hours.

While the cause of the fire is still undetermined, it is possible based on the scene and tire tracks, that Buscher drove around behind a house at the end of River Rd. and could not drive back up an embankment he had driven down. It is likely heat from the exhaust system under the car set leaves on fire resulting in the car fire. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is still trying to determine a positive identification and the cause of death, but in the preliminary autopsy, there were no signs of induced trauma to the body. Identification of the body will have to be done by DNA testing.


On June 27, 2018 at 7:07 PM the Martinsville-Henry County 9-1-1 center received a call in regards to the discovery of a burnt vehicle in the 4700 block of River Road, Fieldale, VA. Deputies responded to the scene and located human remains near the vehicle. As we continue to investigate it is possible the fire started accidentally.

The remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Western District of Virginia located in Roanoke for an autopsy. The cause and manner of death remain unknown pending further investigation by the O.C.M.E and Henry County Sheriff’s Office. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is working to positively identify the remains.

The vehicle registration led investigators to another jurisdiction. We are working with this jurisdiction in reference to a possible missing person case. Additional information will be released pending notification of the family and finalization of the identification.


FIELDALE – Around 7:07 PM Wednesday evening, a body was discovered in proximity of a burned vehicle on River Road in Fieldale. The vehicle was discovered off a wooded area near Fieldale Park with fire damage. Later, a search warrant was obtained by Henry County Sheriff’s Office to begin the investigation along with the fire marshal. Sheriff Lane Perry stated that it does not appear that this incident occurred the day it was found. Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

Anyone with information regarding this homicide is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 276-638-8751 or the Crimestoppers Program at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $2,500.00 for information related to crimes. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information provided determine the amount of reward paid.

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