Body of missing elderly Ohio man found in Tenn.

AP News
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Posted: Mar 01, 2011 6:43 PM
Body of missing elderly Ohio man found in Tenn.

The body of an elderly Ohio man who disappeared with his wife more than two weeks ago has been found off a road in Tennessee, police said Tuesday.

Dental records were used to identify 84-year-old Richard Russell of Bellefontaine, said Chattanooga police spokeswoman Rebecca Royval. She said the body was found over the weekend by two men looking for scrap metal near a railroad trestle.

Samuel K. Littleton II, the man suspected in the couple's disappearance, told police last week that he dumped the bodies of Russell and his 85-year-old wife, Gladis, along Interstate 75 in Georgia as he drove to Florida.

Littleton said he dumped Gladis Russell's body in a "white, glowing cotton field" off a side road made of sand before he was scared off by an approaching vehicle, Bellefontaine police Chief Brad Kunze said Tuesday.

He said he later dumped her husband's body on an intersecting paved road, Kunze said.

The 37-year-old Littleton was arrested last week in a wooded area in Princeton, W.Va., where officials had found the Russells' car at a nearby Walmart parking lot.

Authorities believe the couple were killed in their rural home and their bodies kept in the trunk of their car until they were discarded, Kunze said. Littleton's own car had been found abandoned a couple of miles from the Russells' home.

Authorities continued to search along the interstate for the woman's body.

Littleton is charged with the stabbing death of his girlfriend's 26-year-old daughter, whose body was found in the basement of the Bellefontaine home he had purchased from the Russells in 2009. He has not been charged in the Russells' disappearance.

The Russells' family told the Dayton Daily News that they hope Gladis Russell's body will also be found.

Nephew Don Russell told the newspaper on Tuesday that the couple should be together now, just as they were in life.

"They never went any place where they weren't together," he said.

Littleton appeared in Mercer County Circuit court in West Virginia last week and said he would fight efforts to be extradited to Ohio to face prosecution in the woman's death.

He is being held without bond and faces a March 21 court hearing.