Officials: Bodies Found Wrapped in Bedding Material

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TALLMADGE, Ohio-- A frightening mystery has stunned neighbors in a typically quiet Northeast Ohio community.

Investigators with the Ohio Department of Criminal Investigations returned to the 500 block of Stone Creek Drive in Tallmadge Monday looking for clues.

Saturday morning, police discovered two bodies about one hundred yards into the woods behind a home, one possibly that of a child.

According to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office and Tallmadge police, the two bodies were found wrapped in bedding material, like a sheet, blanket or comforter.

"It's a good neighborhood and just hope that the outcome isn't what it looks like," said neighbor Kara Butcher.

"Shocking because this is a quiet neighborhood; nothing like that usually goes on," said Nefertitia Phairr, who works in the neighborhood.

On August 7, 31-year-old Wendy Ralston and her five-year-old son were reported missing. They live in the home near where the bodies were found.

"I never spoke with her personally. She always waved. She was very nice. I don't know anything about her," Butcher said.

Neighbors and relatives tell police they have not seen Wendy or her son for several weeks.  Her mother called authorities Saturday when she went to the backyard and smelled a foul odor.

"It kind of scares me because it's right next door to me and I would just never expect it to happen here because it's a nice, little small neighborhood and safe," said Butcher's son, Grant Geer, 12.

Geer said he and his friends play in the woods all the time. He said on Friday, they smelled what they thought was a dead animal.

"He was like, no, it's not a dead animal; I know what a dead animal smells like and I said just forget about it and we just kept walking up the hill," he said.

"You hear about that kind of stuff on the news all the time and you never know what to think until it happens two doors down from you," said neighbor, Dylan Bashlor.

Tallmadge police said they cannot say if there is a connection between the bodies found and the missing persons case.

The medical examiner is still trying to positively identify the bodies through dental records.

The office has also enlisted the services of an anthropologist to assist with the identification because the bodies were so decomposed.

A spokesman said it could take weeks to determine how they died.

More information is expected to be released at a news conference at 11 a.m., Tuesday.

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