By March 19, 2014 Read More →

Russian Embassy photo led to man’s W.Va. arrest

Photo provided to The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register In this photo from law enforcement officials, a man believed to be Charles Severance — with passport in hand — stands in front of the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. Wheeling police identified the bicycle in the photo outside of the Wheeling-Ohio County Public Library prior to arresting Severance last week.

Photo provided to The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register
In this photo from law enforcement officials, a man believed to be Charles Severance — with passport in hand — stands in front of the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. Wheeling police identified the bicycle in the photo outside of the Wheeling-Ohio County Public Library prior to arresting Severance last week.

WHEELING, W.Va. – A seemingly unremarkable detail of a bizarre photograph showing possible Virginia murder suspect Charles Severance seeking asylum outside the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. ultimately led to his Thursday arrest at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling.

Severance, 53, is being held without bond at the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville on a warrant out of Loudoun County, Va., charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is also under investigation for any connections to the shooting deaths of three prominent Alexandria, Va., residents dating back to 2003, though officials there maintain they are not ready to charge anyone with those crimes.

The image – showing Severance, passport in hand and clad in a serape and three-cornered hat – was captured by the Secret Service on March 7, after Severance learned Virginia authorities were looking for him, officials presume. A bicycle partially visible in the lower-left corner of the image, showing only black handlebars, a yellow strap wrapped around the handlebar stem and a small segment of the bicycle’s blue frame, was what gave Severance away, according to Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron.

Based on those scant details, he said, Police Cpl. Doug Howell was able to spot the bicycle parked outside the library Thursday afternoon, after officers were unable to find Severance at the Knights Inn downtown, where they had received information Severance had been staying. Police found him inside the library using one of the public computers…

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