MARIETTA - Ember S. Stafford, 27, of 702 Sixth St., Marietta, was arrested at her residence about 9:30 p.m. Thursday on charges of being a fugitive from justice and falsely reporting an emergency incident.
Stafford was charged after officials were led to evidence of her alleged involvement in a case last November involving 20-year-old Jaleayah Davis of Marietta, officials said.
The body of Davis was found Nov. 19 on Interstate 77 near the Emerson Avenue exit in West Virginia, two-tenths of a mile from her car. Davis sustained traumatic injuries in the incident after apparently being struck by a vehicle, according to sheriff's deputies.
Stafford faces charges in Washington and Wood counties. According to the criminal complaint filed last year, Stafford stated she was an eyewitness to the events surrounding the death of Davis.
Stafford is accused of falsely implicating several individuals and as a result caused the Wood County Sheriff's Office to "expend substantial hours of investigative time following bogus leads," officials said.
The case also includes 30 unnecessary hours involving polygraph operators, deputies said.
A warrant claiming Stafford was a fugitive from justice was issued by a Wood County magistrate. Stafford was arrested by deputies and is being housed in the Washington County Jail.
She awaits extradition for the pending charge in Wood County.
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said Stafford told investigators she had seen Davis exit a club and be accosted by multiple people, which later turned out to be false.
Stafford will be given a chance to waive extradition to West Virginia, Mincks said. If she does not, authorities there would have to pursue a governor's warrant, officials said.
"She (Stafford) actually lived over here (in Washington County) and then wouldn't come back (to Washington County from Wood County)," Mincks said.
Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy said a Washington County judge did not set bail due to the pending extradition. The next hearing for the case will be Wednesday.
Davis would have been 21 years old on Friday.