The corpse of a Chillicothe woman was found dangling from a chain link fence. At first, the body of the murder victim was thought to be a Halloween prank. After police officers in the southern Ohio town arrived on scene, frightened neighbors felt the woman was another victim of the alleged serial killer who has been credited with multiple murders in the area for several years.
Ross County Prosecutor Sherri Rutherford revealed in Chillicothe Municipal Court on Wednesday that Donnie Cochenour Jr. was allegedly involved in a fight with the woman before she was killed, and her corpse was hung on a fence, 10TV reports.
The name of the murder victim was not initially released after the murder, but the local police chief revealed the deceased to be Rebecca Cade during a Wednesday press conference. Cade and Cochenour were “some type of acquaintances” who got into an argument, the Chillicothe Gazette reports.
The Chillicothe prosecutor said law enforcement agents found both mud and blood on Donnie Cochenour’s clothing. The police also reportedly recovered an item which detectives feel was used to beat the woman to death. The Chillicothe woman was trying to climb the fence and escape when she died, court documents indicate.
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“In conversations with police officers, Cochenour, 27, admitted to a physical altercation with the woman at or near the place where she was found dead,” the Ross County Prosecuting Attorney added.
During an interview with 10TV, an uncle of the Chillicothe murder suspect said he has been “concerned” about Cochenour’s mental health for several years. During his initial court appearance, the Ohio man was adorned in a jailhouse suicide suit. Several of the accused’s relatives were reportedly present in the courtroom during the proceeding.
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Rebecca Cade was 31 years old, according to a Fox News 32 report. Clothing and other personal items which belonged to the victim were found several yards away from the fence where the body of the woman was found dangling. The body was found near the end of North Brownell Street.
A $2 million bond was set in the Chillicothe murder case. Cochenour waived his right to have a preliminary hearing on the homicide charge. He will appear next in the Ross County Common Pleas Court.
Multiple young women have gone missing and been found dead in the Chillicothe area. Rebecca Cade had lived in Chillicothe her entire life. She died from multiple blunt force trauma injuries to her head and neck, according to police reports. Law enforcement investigators believe she may have been beaten to death with a rock.
Chillicothe Police Chief Keith Washburn said it appeared Cade fought back against her attacker. Chief Washburn also noted during the press conference that detectives believe they have found the murder weapon.
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Chillicothe police do not believe Cochenour is linked to the deaths or disappearances of other women in the area. Since 2014, four other women have been found dead in Chillicothe, and two women have disappeared. Police investigators discovered that the victims were possibly linked because they all “ran in the same circle.” The victims were reportedly involved in prostitution and heroin abuse.
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