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Couple charged with corpse abuse after woman’s remains found in freezer

Shannon Graves
Shannon Graves

A man is accused of storing his missing girlfriend’s body in a freezer before bringing in his new partner to assume the dead woman’s identity, according to reports.

When Katrina Layton moved in with Arturo Novoa in Youngstown, Ohio, US, she started to use Novoa's missing former girlfriend’s phone and car while also caring for her dog, according to a police report.

Novoa's ex, Shannon Graves, was reported missing on June 22, although the last colleagues or family saw her was in February.

Novoa and Layton were arrested and charged with corpse abuse after the woman’s body was found last weekend in several bags inside the freezer by Novoa's landlord's wife.

 

Investigators believe it is Graves' body inside the freezer, but the local medical examiner has not yet confirmed the corpse's identity and cause of death.

The grisly scene was uncovered after Novoa asked his landlord if he could move his freezer to the basement, claiming that his electricity had been cut off and that he "he didn't want his freezer full of meat to spoil," according to reports.

The landlord's wife became suspicious after seeing the freezer was padlocked and broke in, discovering the frozen, bagged body.

The couple are being held on remand and are due before a court on Monday where they may face additional charges.