Investigators say an Ohio teen was arrested for allegedly murdering his 98-year-old neighbor and hiding her body in a closet. Fox 8 reported that a relative of Margaret Douglas, of Wadsworth, reported her missing after she was last seen at her residence on April 5.
Wadsworth Police Department turned to the public for help in locating the missing woman, asking social media users who lived near Portage Street to check their “porches, under your decks, in garages or sheds, and any other place a person could easily hide.”
When officers initially searched Douglas’ home on April 9, they didn’t find her or anything that would indicate foul play. It was later that evening during a second search that they found the missing woman.
Wadsworth Police say Douglas was found dead in her closet, concealed under a pile of clothes and other items.
Her body was transported to Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. The woman’s cause of death was by strangulation, police say.
On Monday, April 16, police arrested Douglas’ 17-year-old neighbor in connection with her murder. When officers learned of his involvement, he was at a Cleveland location and Fairview Park police were notified.
He was transported to Wadsworth Police Department and subsequently booked into the Medina County Juvenile Center, where he was charged with aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, and abuse of a corpse, according to Wadsworth police.
The teenager is accused of strangling Douglas at her home on April 6.
It was reported that when detectives searched the teen’s home, where he lives with his parents, they found Douglas’ wallet. Police say the suspect did not have a relationship with the victim, but he knew that she lived alone and found her to be an easy target.
Douglas became a widow after her husband passed away in 2000. Her nephew, who resides in Canton, would often check on her.
Wadsworth Police Chief Randall Reink says the teen is a suspect in a slew of other violent crimes in the neighborhood.
The circumstances leading up to the murder is unknown at this time, but the Wadsworth Police Department believes the teen acted alone.
An investigation is underway.