Homicide reported in Lincoln County

Family members provide this photo of Burley Kelly, whose death is part of a homicide investigation by West Virginia State Police. (Burley Kelly Family)

West Virginia State Police said they are investigating a murder in Lincoln County.

The body of Burley Kelly, 88, was discovered at a home on McClellan Highway in Branchland. Emergency service workers were called about 4 a.m. Monday.

Family and friends of Kelly gathered outside his home on Monday, trying to console one another, after hearing he had died.

Cletis Adkins is Kelly's longtime friend and found it hard to believe the Vietnam Veteran would have any enemies.

Adkins said, "I mean, It shocked me. Why would someone do an old person like that?"

Kelly had a large family, with 14 children and more than 40 grandchildren.

They say he was a great man, with a big heart and in his younger years worked in the coal mines.

"I've never seen a better man than him. He was a good 'ole man!" said Adkins.

Troopers say there aren't many murders in Lincoln County and the circumstances surrounding Kelly's death are unique.

Trooper S.G. Fox said, "It's not everyday an older gentleman gets murdered in this way."

State Police won't say how Kelly died; Adkins has a theory of his own.

"Probably some old dope-head went in there, and he didn't have anything, so he figured he'd just stab him and kill him. That's my opinion," said Adkins.

Kelly's family says he would often open up his home to people who needed a place to stay.

State police confirm there was someone staying with him overnight and that person is who called for help around 4 am.

They didn't say if that person is a suspect.

They're questioning multiple people that knew Kelly.

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