Thursday, August 09, 2001

Search of farm for body to go on

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        VERONA — Boone County authorities say they will return to a rural tobacco farm next week to continue their search for the remains of Helen Marlene Major and the weapon used to kill her.

        Police found nothing during a second day of searching on Tuesday, said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jack Banks.

[photo] William Major, shown in court Monday, is accused of killing his wife, Helen Marlene Major.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        Forensic anthropologist Emily Craig of the state Medical Examiner's office in Frankfort was on hand Tuesday to help detectives look for the remains, reportedly dumped in a sinkhole on the 300-acre farm here 20 years ago.

        Lt. Banks said searchers spent most of the day surveying the land.

        A skull identified in July through DNA testing as Mrs. Major's was found by a hunter on the farm in 1981. Mrs. Major's husband, William Major, faces a charge of murder in the case.

        He was a handyman on the farm, owned by the Waller family.

        “We will quit looking when we exhaust all our leads,” said Lt. Banks. On Friday, divers were unable to find a murder weapon in a small pond on the farm.

        A search of a larger pond on the property nearly 20 years ago also turned up nothing.

        Mr. Major was arrested at his Fairhaven, Mass., home in June and brought back to Kentucky, where he faces the death penalty.

        Mr. Major has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.

        The case is now in the hands of a grand jury.


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