Murder Victim Mistaken For Halloween Prop, Left Hanging On Fence: Work Of Serial Killer?

Halloween is a holiday that many go all-out for: decorations all over the yard, hanging from trees, spooky music, and jack-o-lanterns can be seen on many a porch. Many people start decorating quite early in October in order to get the most out of their decorating effort and celebrate the holidays. Most people are therefore accustomed to seeing strange, ghoulish things anywhere that people may be.

Such was the case at a Chillicothe, Ohio, construction site — several people saw what appeared to be a dummy hanging by her arm on a chain link fence. Neighbors assumed the construction workers were playing a prank on each other when they saw the “prop” hanging about four feet above the ground by a sleeve of her shirt. Neighbor Tammy Dixon told NBC News that it just looked like someone had placed a dummy there as a joke.

“She was with one arm up like this, about four feet off the ground and hanging from the fence.”

However, when construction workers arrived to the work site for the day, they immediately began yelling and frantically attempting to summons help. It was no dummy — it was dead woman. This is not the first time something of this nature has happened, according to the Inquisitr. You can read about that unfortunate situation here. In that case, the body was mistaken for a mannequin on April Fool’s Day, and was thrown away.

This situation has left the already distraught town of Chillicothe stunned. Several women have disappeared from the town over the past few years, some believed to be prostitutes. Four have been found murdered, and two have never been found. Many fear there is a serial killer on the loose and all the deaths are related.

The gruesome nature of the death of the woman identified as long-time resident Rebecca Cade, 31, has left the town in a panic. Police believe that Cade was fleeing her attacker when she attempted to scale a four-foot-tall fence, but her shirt sleeve became entangled, and her assailant hit her with a blunt object multiple times, likely resulting in internal bleeding that killed her. She was bruised and battered when found. The killer then left her there.

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However, a suspect has already been arrested in the case. Twenty-seven-year-old Donnie Cochenour, Jr. was arrested Tuesday night for Cade’s killing, and he remains behind bars. Police do not believe he is involved with the other deaths and disappearances of women from the town, although they have not stated why they believe this, and at this point have not released any speculation as to the motive for the crime. According t0 daytondailynews, Cochenour remains in jail on a $1 million bond. He was arrested after Chillicothe police received an anonymous tip as to the nature of his identity.

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Still, many area residents are uneasy about the latest murder, with many of them seeing the grotesque scene of the woman hanging from the fence. Articles of clothing were strung about in the area where the body was found. Police say the other women who have disappeared were involved with heroin use and sales. They have not clarified if Cade or Cochenour were suspected of being involved with drugs.

Area residents were in tears when they were interviewed by reporters, some stating that their children had seen the ghastly scene, and no longer felt safe in Chillicothe. The body was found at the dead end of North Brownell Street, which is not a secluded area, but not frequently visited at night, as there is not much but construction sites there.

Rebecca Cade leaves behind a 15-month-old son and received treatment for development disabilities. Friends described her as “gullible.” Cochenour has a police record and a history of mental health issues, and was at least an acquaintance of Cade’s, police state. While there was believed to be some altercation between the two, police are still not certain of the nature of their relationship. Meanwhile, residents wonder if a serial killer has been caught, or if one is still at large.

[In-article photos by Chillicothe police booking photos/featured image from Cade family photos]