Family, police left with questions after body of missing man found

Community

The identification of the body found along Wheeling Island as that of Joseph Herring has closed a missing person case.

But it has left the family and the police with nearly as many questions as ever.

Herring is the man who walked out of his Martins Ferry home January 9th, never to be seen alive again.

Police say the body was dressed in the same clothes that Joseph Herring was last seen wearing when he left home — jeans and a black sweatshirt.

They say there was an ID card in his pocket, but they compared the teeth with his dental records anyway, and confirmed that it was indeed Joseph Herring.

“There was no evidence of foul play, broken bones, punctures, gunshot wounds or anything like that. So as of right now, it’s not ruled a homicide. We definitely hoped we would have found him somewhere. My heart pours out to those kids. It’s, it’s just sad,” said Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland.

Police searched along the river repeatedly, where Herring’s cellphone was last pinged.

Herring’s wife was gravely ill when he disappeared, and she died 15 days later.

Their four children are now being raised by their grandparents.

The grandmother tells 7News “the family is going to focus on getting the kids through this.”

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