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Unattended Death Part 1

Appalachian Mysteria

Jam Street Media

Documentary, True Crime, Society & Culture

4.82.6K Ratings

🗓️ 4 April 2023

⏱️ 36 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


This two-part special introduces the life and death of Arthur Bagenda, an international student at WVU who drowned in a ditch within sight of the Morgantown Police station. In this first episode, we visit the Walnut Street bridge, where a long-time local explains her problems with hard drug users at the site of Arthur's death. We review forensic photographs from the scene, hear from Arthur’s mother about the 19-year-old son she lost, and explain the first 72 hours following the discovery of his body. Over the course of two episodes, Unattended Death will examine police reports, drone footage, forensic photographs, surveillance video, audio of police questioning, and interviews with those involved to craft a previously-untold West Virginia story. ### We have been trying to report this story for a long time. After covid interrupted our interview process, we decided to focus on other work, but three years later we’re finally ready to share the case of Arthur Bagenda. Unattended Death is the third Morgantown-centered story produced by Appalachian Mysteria (WVU Coed Murders / Cradle Will Rock). The last known sighting of Arthur Bagenda was made by a video surveillance camera mounted in front of the Morgantown police station. He would be found drowned alongside Morgantown’s recreational Rail Trail – within sight of the MPD building – a few hours later. The group of people who appear on camera seconds before Arthur seem to be carrying items found at the scene of his death, but were they involved? A private investigator hired by Arthur’s mother thinks so, but police have ruled out foul play. Like all the stories we cover, a definitive truth seems just out of reach. [00:03:14] A WVU student's death. [00:07:19] Under the Walnut Street Bridge. [00:08:15] Arthur's body found beside pipe. [00:14:01] Homelessness and drug addiction. [00:18:00] A suspicious backpack. [00:21:33] Crime scene photographs. [00:23:28] The pain of losing a son. [00:27:13] Meth-making materials found. [00:32:28] Cause of death was drowning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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You're about to hear the first part of a two episode special about the death of an international WVU student that took place within sight of the Morgantown Police Station in 2017.


This is a story I've been following for a while and we originally tried to begin interviews right around the time COVID started.


Now three years later and six years after the events were describing, we're finally bringing you another untold Morgantown story unattended death.


Sarah and I are standing directly across the street from the Morgantown Police Station. Traffic passes between us and the building, its February 10th, 2023, its overcast and there is a brisk breeze that makes it feel even colder than it already is.


If you walk this way a little bit, you can see the camera up there.


We cross the street, walk up the police department's stone stairs and look up at several darkly tinted hemispheres hanging from corners of the recessed vestibule.


Each contained at least one surveillance camera. One of them had captured the last moments Arthur Beguinda was seen alive.


Sarah and I had already seen that video feed and we were mentally matching up angles to see which camera had captured it.


So I step on the other side of the table and stand right here and then he goes off that way.


All right.


Realizing our pointing at cameras was probably looking strange to the officers inside the building we moved on to the next stop on our trip.


We turned left on the Walnut Street, the same direction Arthur had turned the night he died, heading straight for Walnut Street Bridge.


This isn't really a spot Sarah had ended up before but I've walked this sidewalk a million times.


I live just across the bridge which spans the width of Decker's Creek.


A creek, Jeff pointed out in the opening of the Co-Ed murders book that's named for a family murdered along its banks.


The back half of the Morgantown police station is a four-story parking deck and at the rear of the building the ground drops away about 75 feet to a recreational path along the Creek Bank, usually just referred to as


the rail trail.


It's really 48 miles of trails composed of three major sections built directly on top of old railroad tracks.


The section of the trail along Decker's Creek where Arthur Beginda was found connects an outdoor amphitheater, a dog park, a public swimming pool, tennis courts and playgrounds, and then continues another 20 miles southeast all the way to Readsville, West Virginia.


I've cycled the rail trail many times and taken as a whole it's definitely a great recreational aspect of the city.


But there are specific points along the trail that aren't as magical as all of this may sound.


Underneath the Walnut Street Bridge is one of those specific points and this is the spot where Arthur Beginda fell to his death.


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