Ohio authorities have confirmed that missing teen Alesha Bell, 18, of Warren, who texted her mother “I’m scared” just before disappearing without a trace, has been found dead, according to CBS News. Her remains were found in a backyard fire pit located at the home of 40-year-old James Brooks of Rome, who is facing multiple charges, including “abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, drug trafficking and weapons violations.”
On the morning of July 24, Tiffany Knepper received a terrifying text message from her daughter Bell, who said, “Mom, if I make it home, I need you. I’m scared.”
After receiving the message, she made several attempts to call her daughter, but Bell’s calls were being forwarded to voicemail, which led her to believe that it had been shut off or the battery had died.
However, “That’s the last I heard from her,” her mother said.
Knepper reported the teen missing, claiming that the last time anyone saw her was the day before she received the terrifying message. She left the house on foot and was on her way to a relatives’ house, but her mother doesn’t believe she ever made it to her destination.
“Whoever has her, please let her come home, let her call us,” Knepper pleaded during a press conference. “I feel it, I know she is out there. We firmly believe it. Someone has her and won’t let her come home.”
On August 20, while police were raiding a house that belonged to James Brooks for drugs, they stumbled upon human bones in a fire pit in the back yard. Ashtabula County police confirmed on Thursday that the remains were those of the missing teen Alesha Bell, and her death was ruled a homicide, reported the Huffington Post.
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Brooks was arrested in connection to the murder, and he later admitted to investigators that he was with Bell the day she was last seen alive but claims he dropped her off in another town and hadn’t had contact with her after that.
After hearing of Bell’s murder, Daniell Wilder – also of Warren – came forward and informed police officials that her 22-year-old daughter had been missing since June 5 and wanted to know if Brooks has anything to do with her disappearance.
“She knew him [and] some of her friends and associates, they know him as well,” said Wilder, “As a mother I’m just asking if somebody knows something, please contact your local police department.”
However, Brooks is currently being held at the county jail, facing a slew of charges for the murder of Alesha Bell.
[Image via YouTube screen capture]