State police identify human remains found as April Neikirk

Published 12:37 pm Thursday, June 14, 2018

Otha Wesley charged with murder, abuse of corpse

The human remains found in southern Lincoln County on June 5 have been identified as missing Lincoln County woman April Lynn Neikirk. A Somerset man has been arrested for allegedly murdering her.

Otha Wesley, 45, was booked into the Lincoln County Regional Jail at 4:51 p.m. last Thursday and charged with murder, domestic violence; abuse of a corpse; and tampering with physical evidence. 

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Wesley was arraigned in court Monday afternoon. A not guilty plea was entered for him by Judge Janet Booth. He is scheduled to appear again Monday at 2 p.m. 

KSP and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office located Neikirk’s body last week in the Pilot Creek area south of Waynesburg, but the level of decomposition slowed their ability to identify the remains. Kentucky State Police confirmed the identity of the body as Neikirk Friday morning.

According to a warrant for Wesley’s arrest, he was seen on on or around April 26 “shoving, punching, dragging and kicking (Neikirk), causing serious injury all while the victim pleaded for her life.”

Wesley was seen with the body inside a residence, according to the warrant.

“After further investigation this Detective (Cameron Allen) was able to confirm that the above subject and others had disposed of the body in a rural area of Lincoln County off of Ike Singleton Road,” the warrant states.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office conducted several searches of wooded areas in Lincoln County following Neikirk’s disappearance, acting on tips that her body had been drug into a wooded area and buried, according to news archives.

The warrant for Wesley states that on June 4, the detective was “given information that the subject had revisited the location of the deceased, with the intent to bury the remains.”

About half an hour after midnight on Tuesday, June 5, Lincoln County Sheriff Curt Folger said his office got a phone call — “a guy was wanting to pretty much take us and show us where the body was.”

The body was found just before 2 a.m. and taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort for identification. Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum said at the time the body was found wrapped in “tight material” and there were no facial features to use for identification purposes.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by KSP Post 7 Det. Cameron Allen.