A woman held hostage in a home led to the arrest of a man who confessed to murder. Remains of three women have also been discovered, according to the authorities.
Shawn Grate was jailed after facing an abduction charge. The captive woman’s report found her and the suspect at what was supposed to be an unoccupied home. As reported by NBC 4i, remains of two people were also discovered at the home.
Shawn Grate: Timeline of killings
The murders of five women have been linked to the case of Grate. As reported by WTOL, following is the timeline of the killings:
Jane Doe: The victim, who was murdered in 2005 or 2006, was selling magazines door-to-door. Grate’s mother did not get her order. Grate, who saw the woman and told her he wanted to buy some magazines from her, lured the victim into his car. He killed her and dumped the body northeast of Marion on Victory Road. Her body was discovered by a man in the woods the subsequent year.
Rebekah Leicy: The victim disappeared in February last year. Her body was found in March 2015, off a road in Ashland near Route 30.
Candice Cunningham: The victim’s disappearance was not reported by her family, who believed she had moved to North Carolina in April this year. Grate confessed that he had murdered the victim. Her body was dumped in the woods behind a home in Mansfield.
Elizabeth Griffith: The victim disappeared in August and was reported missing in September. Her body was one of the two found in the Ashland home last week.
Stacey Stanley: The victim disappeared two weeks ago. She was the second victim whose body was found in the Ashland home.
In a statement, Ashland County Prosecutor Chris Tunnel said, “I know there are many rumors, theories, and public comments about the Grate case, particularly on social media. My office and investigators are working on it diligently, as are other law enforcement agencies. I ask that everyone please refrain from advancing or publicly discussing information that may be false or incomplete. We all want to see justice done, but professionalism requires us to do our homework and check all of our facts before we make things public.”
According to FOX 8, Grate has pleaded not guilty to the Ashland charges. It has not been made clear whether he has retained an attorney. While no bond has been set for him, he is scheduled to appear in court on September 29.