Police will not say whether they have a connection between the search for a missing woman and an unsolved murder case that is nearly five years old but both investigations begin with the same home in Augusta County.
In 2003, Joann Spencer disappeared from her home near Crimora. She was found murdered six weeks later. Now, deputies are searching for Margaret Gail Stamper White, and say they cannot rule out foul play. The twist in this case is that at the time of their disappearances, each woman shared a home with Charles Melvin Spencer.
Deputies' searching for Margaret White may have the odds against them. Her family reported her missing in late July, more than two months after she was last seen.
Augusta County Sheriff Randy Fisher stated, "She's missed her son's graduation. She missed her 16 year old daughter's birthday. She missed her grandmother's funeral." Fisher says White's my space page also has not been updated since May. It still proclaims the love of Charles Melvin Spencer and shows not her picture, but his. White had been living in Spencer's home near Crimora since last summer.
Fisher said, "Mister Spencer was cooperative with us on our initial visit there. On a follow up visit he was not very cooperative."
Deputies were allowed into their home on their first visit, and found many of White's belongings, including her cell phone. Spencer reportedly told them he thought she had simply taken off.
Fisher stated, "He went to bed one night, she was there, he woke up the next morning, she was gone. He hasn't heard from her since."
The last time someone disappeared from that home was December 2003, when deputies and volunteers began looking for Spencer's wife Joann. Six weeks later she was found shot to death. A search warrant later named Charles Spencer as a suspect, but no arrest was made.
Sheriff Fisher says White may also be the victim of foul play but their priority now is just finding her. "Right now we really don't have a clue where to look, where to even start," he stated.
There is another bizarre link between these two cases: Joann Spencer's body was found in a remote wooded part of McDowell County, West Virginia. That is the same county where Margaret White's family resides and where she reportedly met Charles Spencer last summer.