Report: 2 women linked to Ohio murder suspect were strangled

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 05, 2017 10:07 AM

ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) — Two women believed to be victims of a jailed Ohio murder suspect were strangled and found with clothing around their necks, according to newly released autopsy reports.

The information involves two bodies found at an Ashland home in September after another woman called 911 and said she'd been held captive there, WEWS-TV (http://bit.ly/2hVZ5kh ) reported. That was when police arrested Shawn Grate, who's also accused of raping the 911 caller.

Grate, 40, was indicted on 23 counts in the potential death penalty case, and his attorneys are pursuing an insanity defense. He has competency hearing scheduled Friday.

A judge's order blocks his attorneys and the prosecutors from publicly commenting on the case.

The autopsy reports released Wednesday indicate that one of the women in the Ashland home was found fully dressed, with a studded leather collar wrapped around her neck beneath a white scarf that was wrapped multiple times, WEWS reported.

The second victim wasn't dressed, and her hands were bound behind her back with a striped shirt. Another shirt was wrapped around one ankle and upward to her neck, the station said.

Investigators say Grate admitted killing at least two other women, though he hasn't been charges in all of the deaths.

Grate told investigators he stabbed a woman who was selling magazines door-to-door and dumped her body, which was found near Marion in 2007.

Authorities said Grate told them he killed another woman in June. Her body was found near Mansfield.

Police also were investigating whether Grate is connected to the 2015 death of a fifth woman, found in woods in Ashland County. A coroner initially ruled her death was a drug overdose and found no signs of traumatic injuries, but Grate's arrest prompted police to take another look at the case.

___

Information from: WEWS-TV, http://www.newsnet5.com