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Man charged after allegedly keeping woman captive in West Virginia camper for more than a week

West Virginia Headlines

PHILIPPI, W.Va. — A man has been charged after allegedly keeping a woman captive in a camper in Barbour County for more than a week.

On May 6, deputies with the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a residence on Elk Creek Road in Philippi of a woman “being held against her will with an open phone line,” according to a criminal complaint.

Offender Picture
Thomas Paugh

When deputies arrived, a man identified as Thomas Paugh, 35, of Philippi, saw them “pulling into his driveway and he walked quickly back to the camper and went inside,” deputies said.

Deputies then knocked on the door, announcing that they were from the sheriff’s department, but Paugh “remained in the camper for close to ten minutes” before sending the victim out of the residence,” and then exiting, according to the complaint.

When the victim walked out of the residence, deputies observed her “with visible bruising and two black eyes and marks around her neck,” deputies said.

Upon speaking with the victim, deputies learned that “she had been in the camper for a week and she could not leave unless it was with [Paugh] and she had to return with him,” according to the complaint.

The victim also told deputies that “if she would try to leave, [Paugh] would beat her and choke her”; the victim also stated that Paugh “took her vehicle keys and cell phone,” and “would not let her leave or talk to anyone,” deputies said.

Paugh has been charged with malicious wounding, strangulation and kidnapping. He is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $80,000 bond.

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