Man charged in murder of Cuyahoga Falls woman

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CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — Cuyahoga Falls police arrested a suspect Wednesday morning in the Aug. 28 stabbing death of 40-year-old Amanda Russell.

Russell's ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Conrad, 43, of Toledo, faces an aggravated murder charge. Police said the victim and suspect had a "tumultuous" relationship in the past and said Russell was in "fear" of Conrad.

Metroparks rangers said they encountered Conrad near Euclid Beach brandishing a large buck knife shortly after the murder. According to an arrest report, Conrad said he was schizophrenic and told rangers "you're going to have to kill me."

The report states that rangers had to use a taser on Conrad and arrested him after he jumped into Lake Erie. Investigators recovered the knife, which they linked to Russell's murder.

Investigators gathered enough evidence to arrest him on a murder charge Wednesday. Cuyahoga Falls police said Russell's teenage daughter found her mother's body behind an 8th Street duplex where they'd live for six months.

"Detectives have worked tirelessly on this since that date and time," said Cuyahoga Falls Police Lt. Gary Merton, Jr. "We've worked with other agencies. There's also been a little bit of luck and without all those things, you can't put a case together."

Russell took out a protective order against Conrad in 2012. He has a criminal history, including a weapons charge in Summit County and a charge of violating a protective order in 2013.

"She had recently discussed being in fear for her life with various persons and agencies," said Cuyahoga Falls Police Detective Lt. Gary Merton, Jr.

Merton said police were not sure when Russell last saw Conrad, though neighbors reported recently seeing a suspicious man lurking outside her home.

Authorities transferred Conrad from Cuyahoga County to Summit County, where he's expected to be arraigned Thursday morning.


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