Mourners remember Farmville homicide victim Melanie Wells

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

INWOOD, WV (NBC12) - Emotions are running high in a small West Virginia community where mourners remembered the life of a young woman murdered in Farmville.

Just over a week ago, 18-year-old Melanie Wells and three others were found bludgeoned to death.

Mourners left the funeral home Friday night full of anger and sadness.

A former classmate of Wells says Melanie's brutal death has been the talk of the town.

Outside South Berkeley Chapel Friday, relatives and friends of Melanie comforted one another.

Wells was described by friends as a sweet girl.

She attended Musselman High School.

Laura Matieszyn met Wells two years ago when Matieszyn started her freshman year.

"She was one of the few who talked to me because I was a freshman," she said.

That initial meeting grew into a friendship, Matieszyn says the two would hang out during lunch.

"People assumed she was a bad person cause of how she looked," she said. "But she was an amazing person in general."

Matieszyn says Wells loved music and listened to the same horrorcore rap as suspect Richard "Sam" McCroskey.

"Heavy metal, death metal, and I guess you would call horrorcore. She liked gruesome stuff," Matieszyn said.

Wells and her friend Emma Niederbrock joined McCroskey in Michigan for a horrorcore concert days before the killings.

Wells' best friend, Kierstyn Bivens says wells was supposed to return home to Inwood last Wednesday.

She had been staying with Emma and Emma's mother, Debra Kelley, in Farmville.

Bivens says between voice mail messages left on Wells' mom's phone by McCroskey and not hearing from her daughter sparked enough concern for Wells' mom to call police and Emma's father, Pastor Mark Niederbrock.

The calls led to the gruesome discovery September 18th.

"We didn't expect it," said Bivens. "Not to Melanie not to the sweetest girl everybody knew she was just Melanie she kept to herself and didn't bother anybody."

So far, McCcroskey is only charged in the death of Pastor Mark Niederbrock, but authorities say additional charges are expected as the investigation moves forward.

Funerals for two other victims of this tragedy will be held next weekend.

On October third, a service for Longwood Professor Debra Kelley will be held at 2:00 p.m.

A service for her daughter Emma Niederbrock will follow later that day, at 6:00 p.m.

Both will take place at the Farmville United Methodist Church.

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