Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

A body found partially submerged in the Brandywine Creek on Thanksgiving Day in the neighboring town of Birmingham has been tentatively identified as that of a North Carolina woman who went missing in our area in mid-October.The family of Melissa Weaner believes that the body is hers as several pieces of key evidence lead to that conclusion. “Yeah, we do think it’s her,” Becky Bellman, Weaner’s mother said, “They just have to make it official.”

The body matches the description given to local police by Bellman and Chester County Detectives Chief Albert L. DiGiacomo said his department is confident about the identification and that it would be made official shortly.

DiGiacomo said that a gun was located near the area where the body was found and that detectives believed the gun belonged to Weaner. The body had what police believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound and Chester County Coroner Dr. Robert O. Satriale confirmed that an autopsy of the body revealed the cause of death to be a single gunshot wound to the mouth. He also believes the body was submerged in the creek for at least a week.

Weaner only told a few friends that she was leaving before she left for Pennsylvania from her Charlotte, N.C.-area home on Oct. 14. Weaner reportedly did not know anyone in the Philadelphia area, but did have an apparent infatuation with MTV star and professional skateboarder Brandon “Bam” Margera, who resides in the West Chester area.

On Oct. 23, Bellman filed a missing persons report with Charlotte police a week after the last transaction, made at the Holiday Inn Express in Malvern, was made to Weaner’s bankcard.

On Oct. 25, West Chester borough police were notified that Weaner’s red Pontiac Grand Am was found and towed from the St. Agnes Church parking lot at 223 W. Gay Street in West Chester.

When Bellman came to the area to claim her daughter’s vehicle on Nov. 11, her concern was elevated when she found Weaner’s personal belongings inside.

Bellman and Weaner’s family are still unsure of why Weaner left North Carolina in the first place. Weaner had been grappling with depression since her fiance was killed three years ago. Bellman believes her daughter may have been attracted to West Chester because of a Neopagan religious movement that some consider to be witchcraft, called Wicca. Bellman thinks her daughter may have been looking for WCU professors who may have written about the subject.

As of press time, the body was not positively identified as Weaner’s, although at this point, such identification may be considered a formality.

Bellman was thankful of the local police departments and county residents for their efforts to find her daughter. The investigation into Weaner’s death is still

Author profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *