This past Saturday, an Ohio man, and his girlfriend were arrested after remains of his missing ex-girlfriend’s body were found in his freezer, according to authorities. The current girlfriend lives with him. The two were charged with abuse of a corpse.
Arturo Novoa, also known as Anthony Gonzalez, is 31 and his girlfriend, Katrina Layton, is 34. The felony they were charged with carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison. Both are currently held in jail. Their bond is set at $1 million each.
According to BuzzFeed News, authorities believe that the body is of Shannon Graves, a 28-year-old woman who was reported missing on June 22nd. The criminal complaint notes that she is presumed to be the victim of foul play.
According to Dana Lantz, Youngstown City Prosecutor, even though Layton didn’t take the ex’s identity, she did start living the life of the victim. She drove her car, used her cellphone and even used her food card. Lantz told BuzzFeed News, “She basically took over [Graves’] place in Mr. Novoa’s life.”
The complaint notes that this past Saturday, police found a body inside a freezer at the home of one of Novoa’s friends, Kenny Eshenbaugh. Novoa asked his friend to keep the freezer in the basement because the power in his house had been cut and he didn’t want the meat to go bad.
Eshenbaugh agreed but noticed that there was a padlock on the freezer and on Saturday Eshenbaugh’s wife opened it and found human remains that were kept in more than one bag. The alleged victim, Shannon, was said to have been living with Novoa prior to their break-up.
Her sister, Debbie Depaul, told reports that she reported her missing sister last month after her disappearance went longer than usual.
According to Depaul, Shannon abused heroin and other drugs so it was pretty common for her to go long periods of time without communicating. But she notes that she’s never been MIA from this long. Depaul noted that she was concerned for the safety of her sister because of the kind of lifestyle that she lived.
Lantz told Buzzfeed News that though authorities are still waiting for the official confirmation from medical examiners, she strongly believes that the victim found in Novoa’s freezer is in fact, Shannon Graves. Only time will truly be able to tell.
Buzzfeed notes that a clear motive has not yet been established and Novoa and Layton have still not been charged with Graves’ death. But as Lantz noted, the two could face more charges as the investigation continues.
It also has not been noted how long Novoa has allegedly been hiding Graves’ body in his freezer or what the time was between Graves going missing and her murder. All this will slowly be revealed as the case is examined more closely. In the meantime, the two are being held in prison while all of this is looked into.