CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Police are calling a Charleston woman’s disappearance a suspected homicide and are investigating her husband.

Starina Woods has been missing since March, around the time she moved into a new home with her husband, Arthur Owen Woods.

Police said her husband never reported her disappearance to police, according to search warrants. Police learned that the couple’s relationship had been abusive, and they found evidence of blood stains at the couple’s home, The Gazette-Mail in Charleston reported (

Starina Woods was eventually reported missing by a family member on May 19.

Owen Woods has told police that he believed his wife had fled to Ecuador with a previous husband after a “heated” incident on March 10. In one a search warrant, Owen Woods is described as “the investigating target and suspect of the homicide.” He has not been charged.

Police found messages between Starina Woods and a friend in which she talks about an ongoing abusive relationship with her husband, and the possibility of taking money and fleeing to Ecuador. Police spoke to Priest, who said he had lost contact with Starina Woods after March.

Police found no record of a $29,000 withdrawal, and federal Homeland Security told them Starina Woods had never crossed the border.

Detectives used a chemical agent that can detect blood not visible to the eye, and found “a significant amount of blood” on the front door, stairs and living room area of the Woods’ home, according to the search warrants. They also found “signs of an attempted cleaning of blood.”

Starina Woods’ brother, Ronald Lucas, said the family just wants help finding her.

“I just want to know where my sister is — where her body is,” he said, “but nobody wants to help us.”

Lucas said his sister was afraid to leave Owen Woods.

“It’s getting cold,” said Woods’ cousin, Amanda Harshbarger. “We just want to find her body somewhere. Somebody somewhere knows something. Bring her home. Give our family peace.”

Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail,

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