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West Virginia Man Allegedly Imprisoned Woman, Burned Her With Butane Torch

The victim told police that Sammy Martz held her hostage, “threatened to kill her and had burnt her with a torch on her stomach and her leg,” per charging documents.

By Dorian Geiger
A police handout of Sammy Martz

A West Virginia man was arrested this week for allegedly holding a woman against her will and violently torturing her, according to law enforcement.

Sammy Martz, 47, was charged with kidnapping an unidentified woman, holding her hostage for several hours and burning her with a butane torch.

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The Philippi Police Department responded to a domestic violence call at an undisclosed address in Barbour County on Tuesday. The woman caller, later identified as the victim, claimed she was “hiding under the porch” at a property next door with her eye swollen shut, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.

After responding police officers arrived, the woman said she’d been bitten in the face by Martz, who she said also had threatened to kill her. The victim, who had a swollen right eye, claimed Martz burned her on her stomach and leg. 

“Sammy ‘tortured’ her by striking her all over her body, sitting on her and burning her with a butane torch,” the complaint stated. 

Police said she escaped Martz’s home by exiting the residence through a back window. She told authorities there was a gun inside the property before being transported to hospital. 

Upon entering the residence, Martz was handcuffed by officers after he emerged from a back bedroom inside the home. He admitted to torturing the woman using a butane torch.

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“Sammy stated that he did harm the victim by striking her and burning with a torch on at least three occasions,” the complaint alleged.

Methamphetamine was seized from the property. Police also found an unloaded rifle hanging on the living room wall. 

“The units observed money and drugs (clear crystal substance), laying on the floor and in an open bag on the rear right bedroom floor,” court documents stated.

While hospitalized, the woman later told detectives that Martz had held her against her will for about four to five hours.

“[She] stated that she was trying to leave early in the morning and Sammy wouldn’t let her,” the complaint said.

Authorities didn’t specify the extent of the woman’s injuries.

Martz could yet face more charges, officials said. Additional information regarding the ongoing investigation hasn’t been released.

Martz is being held without bond at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com. It’s unclear if he’s retained legal representation to comment on his behalf. 

He was previously taken into police custody in 2018 after authorities accused him of attempting to light a fire at an abandoned car wash, according to WVNews.com.

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