KSP Banner KSP Banner

News Releases

Two arrested in Harlan County for complicity to commit murder

Date of News Release: 12/28/2016

LeJunior, Ky.(December 28, 2016) – On December 22, 2016 Kentucky State Police, Post 10 Harlan received a call about an individual missing from the LeJunior community of Harlan County. Master Trooper Michael Cornett began a missing person’s investigation on Hershel Starrett, 58, of LeJunior.

On December 24, 2016 Troopers, Detectives, and members of the Harlan County Rescue Squad began searching the area around Mr. Starrett’s residence and was unable to locate him.

Throughout the investigation, Detectives were able to determine that Melissa Starrett, the wife of Hershel, and James Starrett a cousin to Hershel, had attempted to purchase a firearm for the purpose to cause injury or death to an individual other than Hershel Starrett.

On December 28, 2016 Det. Kevin Miller charged Melissa Starrett, 47, of LeJunior and James Starrett, 42 of LeJunior with attempted complicity to commit murder and receiving stolen property (firearm). Both were lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center. KSP Detectives say the charges against Melissa and James are not related in the disappearance of Hershel Starrett at this time.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hershel Starrett can contact Post 10 Harlan at 606-573-3131 and can remain anonymous. Hershel is a white male, 5’8’, 155 lbs, with brown eyes.

Case is still under investigation by Det. Kevin Miller.