Death investigation: Local man’s body found in Arkansas

JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police have completed a search warrant at a home on North Perry Street where they say an elderly man’s dead body was taken from and driven across state lines and dumped in a field.

“At this point in time, we believe that he died of natural causes,” Johnstown Police Lt. Dave Gilbo said. “We just can’t determine why the body was transported from here to Arkansas.”

Lt. Gilbo described a bizarre chain of events that started at a home located at 329 North Perry Street.

Lt. Gilbo says a man who lives here named Michael Stivers told Arkansas Police that he put the dead body of another man who lived at the home who is around 89 years old in a suitcase and then allegedly in his truck and drove to Desarc Arkansas.

Lt. Gilbo says on Sunday Arkansas Police discovered the suitcase with the man’s body in a farmers field where he says Stivers allegedly dumped it. He says Stivers is in jail in Arkansas and another woman was in the pickup truck at the time.

“That person was detained for questioning. We have questioned and she’ll soon be released once the house is open.”

Police say they don’t know why his body was disposed of in Arkansas.

“There could be issues with social security checks. I mean we’ve seen more than one case here in Fulton County where people keep people alive or so people think he’s alive. We’re not sure.”

A search warrant was executed at the home on Wednesday and evidence techs were seen going through garbage bags near the side of the house.

Police say another woman who was living at the home with her young children was taken in for questioning.

“She was released prior to them locating the body and there’s basically an active search looking for her.”

For those who were involved in this, Lt. Gilbo says at this time they could be facing charges of unlawful disposal of a body.

Police in Arkansas have arrested 56-year-old Virginia Colvin for felony abuse of a body in connection with the case.

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