The person who shot 42-year-old Patrick Arnold in July at his Newport Township home likely knew him and more than one person may have been involved, Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said Friday.
"One person pulled the trigger, but we believe there were several persons who knew of it afterwards," he said. "We do have specific persons of interest and have narrowed our focus down to a select group of individuals.
"We feel very strongly that it was a person who knew him fairly well, but we don't believe it was a family member," Mincks added.
Mincks made the statements Friday during the announcement of a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for his murder.
Millwright Local Union 1755 of Parkersburg and Arnold's family are offering the reward.
"Right after it happened, the union members got together and wanted to do whatever we could to help out," said Buddy Malone, service representative for Local 1755. "We discussed it early on with the family and the sheriff, and he felt that now would be the best time to offer the reward."
Malone said Arnold had been a union member for more than 18 years and was well-respected at the Pleasants Power Station where he worked on mechanical equipment.
"He was a real good millwright. Every time we did work there, they requested him as the foreman," Malone added.
He said Arnold's brother also works with the union.
"We're like a close-knit family," he said.
Mincks urged anyone with information about the crime, even if they were not involved, to come forward.
"We've already had a lot of cooperation from a number of people who were close to Arnold, and cooperation from his family has been above and beyond the call of duty in this investigation," he said.
Mincks said his office is aware of several possible motives for the murder, but that information is not being released as the investigation is still active.
"But based on information collected to date, we believe there are persons out there who may have had knowledge before or after the incident," he said.
On July 25, a neighbor found Arnold's body outside the victim's home at 2410 Bells Run Road. The ensuing investigation has so far resulted in no arrests, but Mincks said Friday he still has several deputies working full time on the case.
In addition to being a millwright, Arnold owned several rental properties in Washington County. He was reportedly divorced, had no children and lived alone.