Chestnut Ridge Park reopening Tuesday with security after closing due to search for murder suspect

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. – Chestnut Ridge Park will reopen Tuesday with private security to ensure public safety, according to Monongalia County commissioner Tom Bloom. The park was closed Friday when deputies learned of a sighting of a suspect in a recent murder.

“We have two priorities- to capture Romano and to make our citizens are safe,” Bloom said.

Arlo Romano, 42, of Morgantown, began his current run from the law Wednesday when he fled deputies at the BFS store on Fairtchance Road. Romano escaped to the Birch Hollow area and his last known location was the entrance to the park.

Romano is described as 5-feet 10-inches, 175 pounds, wearing a dark shirt, dark hair, beard and multiple tattoos.

“We do not know if someone is trying to jhelp him,” Bllom said. “People need to remember he’s from this area, so he knows that area and it’s a very difficult wooded area.

Officials closed the park Friday out of an abundance of caution while they searched the area for Romano. Private businesses and property owners in the area have also been on edge since the sighting.

“We believe after 72 hours he’s either gopne from the area or we’re going to able to capture him and hopefully that’s what is going to happen.”

Romano is accused in the May 7 drug-related killing of Matt Moore, 46. Court documnents say Romano and Cleotis Cotex-Paul Eppes, 42, of Harbor Woods, Michigan, shot Moore to death over “missing drugs.”

Eppes has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, felony conspiracy and first degree murder. Eppes is awaiting trial in the North Central Regional Jail.