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Crash, dead body under investigation

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Law enforcement responded to a reported car crash early Monday evening and found the dead body of a St. Clairsville man. Police are questioning another man in the investigation.

The single-vehicle crash apparently took place at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Interstate 470. The vehicle was apparently eastbound.

St. Clairsville police Lt. Mike Troullos said the dead man was identified as David Alan Saunders, 37.

“We had a report of a missing person (Monday). We took that report earlier in the day,” he said. “The fatality from the car crash was our missing person.”

The driver, John Polen, 31, of 401 Tracy Lane, St. Clairsville, was taken to Wheeling Hospital.

“Later in the evening, he was arrested on a warrant out of Western Division Court here and taken to Northern Regional Jail (in West Virginia),” Troullos said. “We’re still working on it. Actually we have a couple of officers at Northern Regional interviewing him now.”

He said the warrant through Western Court was for abuse of a corpse. According to Belmont County court information, the offense is a felony of the fifth degree and allegedly took place Monday.

Saunders had not been driving the vehicle. Troullos said it appears the body was ejected from the vehicle.

Troullos said the body is being taken to Licking County for autopsy.

“We took over the investigation on the missing person and the body. We’re working our way through to find out what transpired,” he said. “We don’t have any indication at all how he died.”

More information will be released as the investigation continues.

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