NewsCrime World

Murder victim hanging from fence mistaken for Halloween decoration

Rebecca Cade
Rebecca Cade

A woman’s dead body left dangling on a fence was mistaken for a Halloween decoration.

Officials said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck, and that defensive wounds were found her arms.

A large stone covered in blood was found near the body. The brutally beaten remains of Rebecca Cade were first thought to be a prank when workers arrived on a construction site in the city of Chillicothe in Ohio.

Dismissed as a gory Halloween decoration, the grisly truth was only realised when a man walking his dog approached the body and called the police.

The mother-of-one was found hanging by her shirt sleeve from a chain-link fence near an American Electric Power construction site at North Brownell Street and Hardin Drive at about 8.30am on Tuesday, police said.

“Her body was so badly injured that it was impossible to tell if it was a male or female.”

It is unclear how long Ms Cade’s body was left hanging on the fence, police added. Her body was found in the same city where police have been investigating a string of suspicious deaths and disappearances of local women. 

Four women have died in the area under suspicious circumstances since May 2014, and two others remain missing.

On Tuesday, police arrested Donnie Cochenour Jr and charged him with the murder of Ms Cade’s death.

"Mr. Cochenour was taken into custody at approximately 6:15pm, without incident," Police said in a brief statement.

"He is currently being held without bond, in the Ross County Jail on one count of murder and will make an initial appearance in Chillicothe Municipal Court on October 14, 2015 at 9:00am."

A witness described to local TV station 12 News the reaction to finding Ms Cade’s body.

"It was straight out of a horror story," said Tammy Dixon.

"I 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."

David Kearns