Death investigation in Wayne County, WV now being called homicide

From sister station WSAZ:

The death investigation in Wayne County, West Virginia is now being considered a homicide. The case revolves around a possible suffocation and whether it was intentional.

Police say there was a domestic disturbance call just after 2 a.m. Sunday involving a boyfriend and a girlfriend in a hands-on struggle.

The caller said the young man had passed out and turned blue. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The question is what happened to cause that possible suffocation?
"He hit me, and I tried to defend myself. I think he's dead," a caller from Apt. 2 of Greenwood Apartments told 911 dispatchers.

That's where Ceredo Police say 22-year-old Michael Meachem and his 20-year-old girlfriend were fighting, leading to Meachem's death from what police initially say looks like suffocation.

"There was physical contact made between the two and, as a result of that, the deceased passed away due to asphyxiation," Ceredo Police Chief Tony Poston said.

Poston said the girlfriend is the only person of interest in the case. And he says any determination if this was an intentional act will come after autopsy lab reports are final.

Police say Meachem was likely intoxicated. The girlfriend was apparently sober, along with a female friend of hers in the apartment.
Shocked and saddened, Taylor Dillard, one of Meachem's friends since first grade said the former Fairland High student was the fun-loving class clown.

"He was always laughing, hardly ever serious, but when you needed him to be serious, he was an amazing friend," Dillard said.

Police say there were no previous domestic calls to the couple's apartment and that Meachem's girlfriend had just moved in with her 2-year-old daughter three weeks ago.

Poston says this is a homicide investigation due to the unexplained circumstances with the possible suffocation. And, he explained that the toxicology reports that come in could lead to an arrest and criminal charges -- or possibly not.

Police say Meachem's girlfriend is with her family and is not considered a flight risk or danger to the community.

They say those initial autopsy lab reports may come back as early as Tuesday.

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