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McDowell County Man Arrested in Cold Case Murder

PRINCETON, W.Va. – After 12 years as a cold case, an arrest was made in connection with the murder of Crystal Cantrell.

Michael Wiseman of Welch was charged with first degree murder when arrested on February 10th, 2022.

According to a criminal complaint filed by WV State Trooper A.S. Reed, Wiseman was having an affair with his brother’s wife and witnesses stated he was stalking and harassing Cantrell, as well as physically assaulting her.

Witnesses also said Cantrell had intentions to break up with Wiseman on the date of her murder, August 6, 2010.

“The accused and the victim met at the IGA near the Athens Cross Roads where he abandoned his Harley Davidson Motorcycle and got in the victim’s vehicle,” said Reed in the criminal complaint.

Afterwards, witnesses reported seeing Wiseman and Cantrell arguing along Gardner Road, with Cantrell walking away while Wiseman was behind her, trying to “pull her back” and also throwing an unknown item over the guardrail, suspected to be the victim’s keys.

The criminal complaint states the same witnesses returned through the area within 5 to 10 minutes, finding Cantrell’s car unoccupied with no sign of Wiseman or Cantrell.

Reed also said Cantrell’s husband had called her that day but Michael Wiseman answered, saying “She is with me now” and hung up the phone.

“Her husband stated he could hear the victim in the background screaming for the accused to give her phone back,” stated the criminal complaint.

Wiseman left the scene by unknown means and returned to his residence in McDowell county before then fleeing the state to Ohio and Indiana, according to the criminal complaint. “The accused also abandoned his Harley Davidson Motorcycle at their meeting point. The accused did not return to his full time job, never contacting his employer or fellow workers.”

“The victim was viciously murdered and left floating in the Bluestone River where her body was discovered several days later,” said Reed in the criminal complaint. “Her death was also ruled a homicide by the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.”

In a later interview in Ohio, Wiseman admitted to being the last one to see Cantrell alive and that they were fighting as well as smashing her cell phone according to the complaint.

“The accused denied killing the victim, stating he walked away almost to the I/77 interchange where he caught a ride with an unknown individual in an unknown make, color or style of vehicle. It should be noted it would be physically impossible for the accused to have walked that distance from the time the witnesses saw them arguing until they drove past the car heading towards I/77,” noted Reed in the complaint.