Pike Co. man may see additional charges after alleged dispute leads to Pittsfield woman’s death

By Gary Scott on June 6, 2018 at 12:54pm

Additional charges could be coming down against a Pittsfield man already alleged of domestic battery after a domestic dispute resulted in the death of a fellow Pittsfield resident earlier this week.

Pittsfield Police, as well as the Pike County Sheriff’s Department continue to investigate an alleged domestic dispute that they responded to at approximately 7 p.m. Monday in the 600 block of Clarksville Road in Pittsfield.

Sixty-three year old David Sampley, of Pittsfield, was arrested for domestic battery following a preliminary investigation into the alleged incident, which included a warranted search of Sampley’s residence. As officers arrived on the scene on Clarksville Road in Pittsfield Monday night, they discovered Sharon Welch to be unresponsive. Welch was transported to Illini Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead less than an hour after being discovered.

Paul Petty, who serves as both the Sheriff and Coroner for Pike County, says that authorities received a call from an individual living in the area regarding a possible domestic dispute taking place at Sampley’s residence. Petty explains what officers discovered upon approaching the scene, and how Pike County authorities were able to gather additional information outside of the initial call.

“In addition (to the call), we have a Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy that lives in very close proximity to the residence. The suspect at the time departed his residence, spoke to that officer in person and was looking for his dog. In the meantime, the suspect made a couple comments that the deputy felt needed to be followed up on. Essentially, that deputy and city police officers met up at that residence to check up on the well-being of Ms. Welch. Upon finding her in the condition that they did, Mr. Sampley was placed into custody,” says Petty.

Petty says Sampley is currently being held without bond on allegations of domestic battery, and that, based on pending toxicology results, Sampley could face additional charges pertaining to the death of Welch.

“One of the things that I think is going to delay this, or at least hold this full totality of the case’s conclusion, will be the toxicology reports. Although we have a preliminary cause of death, the final cause of death will not be released until toxicology has been completed. We won’t be releasing any type of temporary or presumptive cause of death at this point, but we do feel that, upon review of this completed case, that we expect and anticipate additional charges to be filed,” Petty explains.

According to Petty, an autopsy on the body of Welch was conducted yesterday; however, it could take weeks until authorities receive the final results of Welch’s toxicology reports. Officers with the Pittsfield Police Department, as well as Pike County Deputies reportedly interviewed neighbors and potential witnesses until approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday. At this point, the investigation into the exact cause of Welch’s death, is still ongoing.