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Developments emerge in Mayking death probe

As the charge against him continues to await final action by the Letcher County Grand Jury, recent developments have emerged in the case against a 37-year-old Mayking man charged in connection with the death of his wife in the early morning hours of March 14.

Roger Elswick, of Cram Creek, was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment shortly after the body of his wife, Connie Robetta Webb Ison Elswick, was found lying on KY 3410 near the couple’s home. Mr. Elswick told neighbors his wife died after falling off a car he was moving to a safe location after Mrs. Elswick threatened to break out the vehicle’s windows during a domestic dispute.

Copies of search warrants and accompanying affidavits filed in Letcher Circuit Court March 26 show that Kentucky State Police investigators earlier seized Mr. Elswick’s iPhone and a Sony digital recorder that had belonged to Mrs. Elswick. According to the warrant pertaining to Mrs. Elswick’s recorder, the device was recovered from the couple’s home by a relative of Mrs. Elswick and was to be searched by technicians “for any and all audio” that may be found on the device.

In the affidavit accompanying the warrant to seize and search the recorder, KSP Detective Billy Pollard says he was “told by family members of Connie Elswick that she frequently used a recording device to record domestic altercations between herself” and Roger Elswick.

The search warrant pertaining to Mr. Elswick’s iPhone said investigators are looking at “any and all text messages, any voicemails, call history (dialed and received), call forwarded numbers, address books, subscriber information, web history, log-on and log-off times, and any stored digital or audio recordings or images including video” the iPhone’s memory might contain.

Authorities have also subpoenaed all records from Mr. Elswick’s cellphone provider, Appalachian Wireless, that might pertain to his iPhone activity for the period beginning March 1 and ending March 13.

In a separate affidavit, Det. Pollard says he observed Mr. Elswick “apparently texting on the iPhone while sitting in the back seat of a Kentucky State Police cruiser.”

The Mountain Eagle has also learned from knowledgeable sources that on March 27, one day after the search warrants and affidavits were filed, authorities learned that findings of a test of blood taken after Mrs. Elswick was killed shows that had taken five times the therapeutic level of the painkiller hydrocodone before her death. However, documentation of the findings had not been filed in Letcher Circuit Court by press time on April 2.

The affidavits filed by Det. Pollard say he was told the following after arriving at the scene of Connie Elswick’s death at 5:30 a.m. on March 14:

“Mr. Elswick advised that the couple had been experiencing marital discord and that on the early hours of March 14, Mrs. Elswick returned to the marital residence and that the two then engaged in an argument which included physical contact.

“Mr. Elswick advised that in an effort to avoid further conflict he had exited the marital residence and attempt to drive away in the couple’s automobile. In the process, Mr. Elswick reported that he heard and felt what he believed to be Mrs. Elswick lunge onto the trunk area of his departing automobile and that shortly after doing so has he continued to travel on the highway he felt movement which he believed to be Mrs. Elswick getting off the trunk of his automobile.

“Mr. Elswick further advised that he then drove approximately (eight-tenths of a mile) from where Mrs. Elswick’s body was ultimately found, pulled into a parking lot and sat in his automobile until a third party came by and asked him who was lying in the roadway. Mr. Elswick stated he then went back to the location of Mrs. Elswick’s body and to his residence before attempting to perform CPR while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance and other emergency personnel. Mr. Elswick advised he is a male nurse.”

The charges against Mr. Elswick were referred to the grand jury after he waived his preliminary hearing. He was later released from the Letcher County Jail after posting bond of $50,000 cash.

Authorities say the Elswicks were married in October 2012 after a long-term relationship, were involved in a verbal and physical domestic argument. The couple had one child together and were rearing a child of Mrs. Elswick’s from a previous marriage.

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