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Suspect named as investigation into abduction, bodies found in Ashland and Richland County unfolds

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ASHLAND, Ohio-- An urgent 911 call from a woman, claiming she was being held hostage inside of an Ashland home has led to gruesome discoveries at properties in both Ashland and Richland counties.

Ashland Chief of Police David Marcelli confirmed at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that the woman had escaped from the home around 6:40 a.m. and called police.

Inside the house on Covert Court, they found the remains of two other people.

Shawn Grate, 40,  has been officially charged with one count of abduction in the investigation into events centering around an Ashland County home.

Photo courtesy: Ashland Police

Photo courtesy: Ashland Police

It was during his questioning that he led authorities to a second location: a charred house on State Route 430 in Mansfield.

Remains of a third victim were found in dense woods near the back of the property.

Richland County Prosecutor Bambi Couch-Page says that the fire happened in June and is linked to the case.

“This was a vacant home so circumstance of convenience,” said Couch-Page, “Where he disposed of the body.”

It could take weeks or longer to identify the remains and locate any additional victims.

Family members of a woman missing since last Thursday say the time frame and hours are agonizing.

“I feel so bad I couldn’t protect my mom,” said Kory Stanely, whose mother 43-year-old Stacey Stanley was last seen with a flat tire at a gas station just a couple blocks from the house.

More on this story, here. 

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