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Brooke County

Brooke County

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Family of the murder victim speaks out

Updated: Tuesday, June 3 2014, 11:09 AM EDT
BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. – Family members sat down with NEWS9’s Ryan Eldredge to share emotions on Monday night, less than a week after a Brooke County man was killed in his home.
It was the same day Brooke County investigators charged a 16-year-old who was closely related to the victim, 56-year-old Donald Bartz, with murder.
It’s an incident family members simply say they never saw coming.
“It’s just something you can’t comprehend,” Donald’s brother William Bartz said. “You see it on the news and other places in other worlds where they do stuff like that, but not in this country, not in our little town, not in our family.”
Donald Bartz had two children and a granddaughter he loved very much. He also had a home along Irongate Drive just outside of Wellsburg he maintained despite mounting medical issues.
“His kidneys were failing,” William Bartz said. “He had Colitis, he lost his colon, he had to have (a Colostomy Bag) on his side. He ended up with what they call Bamboo spine. He could move his turn his head left or right up or down."
For his family, it was those medical issues that made it feel like Donald was living on borrowed time, but William never felt that his brother could be taken by such a violent act.
“Nobody could believe it,” William said. “I haven't slept good, and my sisters are still crying. They haven't come to accept it. It's hard to accept it's hard to understand."
Since details began to surface on Friday morning, investigators have been silent. And they continue to stay silent about what may have caused the teenage suspect to commit such a crime, other than Monday’s announcement that she has been charged with murder.
"It's just a charge of murder under West Virginia law that encompasses all types of murder,” Brooke County Prosecutor Joe Barki said. “The full-spectrum and that’s what we’re proceeding with at this point."
Barki said he will file additional paperwork that could get this case moved. If that happens, the suspect will be charged as an adult.
It’s something that brings the Bartz family little comfort.
“I know a lot of brothers and sisters and cousins went home and hugged their kids extra hard that night," William Bartz said.
Meanwhile, officials say they won't release the suspect's name or discuss details of the crime until, if and when, she is charged as an adult and an indictment is released.
They also said a move to adult jurisdiction could take a month to complete.
Family members said Donald's funeral will be held Saturday in Wellsburg.

Family of the murder victim speaks out

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