ASHLAND, Ohio — A woman’s report that she was being held captive in a home led to the arrest of a kidnapping suspect, a murder confession and the discovery of the remains of three other people, authorities said.
Suspect Shawn Grate remained jailed Wednesday on an abduction charge as authorities continued working to identify the remains and collect evidence.
Ashland police said officers following up on the woman’s report Tuesday found her and the suspect at a home that was supposed to be unoccupied. Investigators also found unidentified remains of two people at the home, Chief David Marcelli said.
Grate, 40, then pointed investigators to a third person’s remains at a property near Mansfield in neighboring Richland County, police said.
Grate confessed that he’d killed a woman in June at a house that was destroyed by fire that month, Richland County Prosecutor Bambi Couch Page told the Mansfield News Journal.
Authorities checked the site Tuesday and found decomposed remains down a ravine in a wooded area behind the house. The remains weren’t immediately identified, but authorities had a lead on the woman’s identity, Couch Page said.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Grate has an attorney.
Agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation were called to both scenes to help collect evidence Tuesday, and that work was continuing at the Richland County scene on Wednesday, spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said. She said the agency was only collecting evidence and hadn’t been asked to investigate.
Police provided no update about the condition of the woman who had reported being held captive. They said she hadn’t been listed as missing at the time they were contacted.
Associated Press writers Andrew Welsh-Huggins and Kantele Franko in Columbus contributed to this report.