Neighbors thought a woman hanging from a chain-link fence was just part of “a Halloween prank” that “went too far,” but the truth turned out to be much more disturbing.
The woman has been identified as 31-year-old Rebecca Cade. She reportedly died of blunt-force injuries to her head and neck.
Construction workers in Chillicothe, Ohio called police when they realized a body hanging from a fence was actually a real woman. The woman’s body dangled as her sleeve was caught high on the fence. Police said she had obvious injuries but deny that the body was mutilated. Tammy Dixon saw the body and said, “Just put my hands over my face and said, ‘This can’t be happening here, it’s not real and I just didn’t see what I thought I saw.’” At this point, detectives don’t know if the homicide is related to the unsolved deaths of four women and disappearances of two others in Ross County in the last 18 months.
“I thought somebody was playing a prank on the construction workers and I told my daughter it was just a dummy,” a man told the Columbus Dispatch. “It was so awful that I thought the prank went too far.”
Officials believe that Cade, who appeared to have been running away from the suspect after “some type of argument,” had climbed the fence in an attempt to escape the enclosed area. She likely died on the fence.
A suspect is in custody, the Chillicothe Gazette reports:
Officials said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck and police said “defensive wounds” were found on Cade’s arms. Chillicothe Law Director Sherri Rutherford said earlier in the day there was an object involved, although she could not speak to what the object was. Police said a “large rock the size of an orange or grapefruit” was found at the scene with blood on it. Officials said it could be the murder weapon.
The man arrested and charged with murder in connection with Cade’s death, 27-year-old Donnie Cochenour Jr., waived his right to a preliminary hearing earlier in the day and was taken back to jail on a $2 million bond. His case will be taken to a grand jury, which convenes again Oct. 23.
Rutherford also said Cochenour’s clothes were bloody and he admitted to police that he and Cade had engaged in a physical altercation near the area where her body was found.
According to officials, Cade was a lifelong resident of Chillicothe and she and Cochenour were “some type of acquaintances.”
Via WKRC Local 12: