Police seek man as person of interest in West Side slaying

Charleston Police have identified a person of interest in connection with a body found Saturday morning on Charleston’s West Side that is being investigated as a homicide.

Police are seeking Marlon “Ice” Dixon, 37, on a warrant for allegedly distributing heroin. Lt. Steve Cooper, chief of detectives, said police also want to question Dixon about the death of Branda Basham, 22, a Charleston woman who was found dead from gunshot wounds along railroad tracks near Breece and Madison streets.

Cooper, however, would not say whether Dixon, a West Side resident, is suspected of killing Basham.

“We are inviting Mr. Dixon to turn himself in,” Cooper said. “We have information that leads us to believe that he knows we’re looking for him.”

He urged people with information on Dixon to contact the department.

Basham was arrested in June in a West Side prostitution sting. Cooper said Dixon was not a pimp and he wasn’t soliciting sex from Basham. He declined to release further details on Basham’s death, including the number of times she was shot and the type of handgun used.

Cooper said police have searched three separate addresses for Dixon so far. He said Dixon has a lengthy criminal record and criminal connections in Columbus, Ohio, and police don’t know if he is still in the Charleston area.

Cooper declined to discuss any other possible persons of interest or suspects.

This is the fourth possible murder in Charleston in 2014, police said.

Cooper said that four possible murders at this point in the year is not atypical, though it’s higher than the single murder last year.

“There’s not really an uptick in gun violence,” he said.

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1254.

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