Jackson Township man arrested in deaths of two women whose bodies were dumped in the 1970s

Gustave Sapharas

TALLMADGE, Ohio – Tallmadge police have arrested Gustave Sapharas, 75, in the deaths of two women who were killed in the 1970s.

Sapharas lives in Jackson Township and was arrested at his home on Independence Circle Northwest Friday.

He’s suspected in the murder of Karen Bentz, 18.

Her body was dumped along the side of Indian Hills Drive in Tallmadge on April 28, 1970.

According to the indictment, Bentz’ body was badly disfigured. The indictment details suggest she was tortured before she died.

He’s also suspected in the murder of Loretta Jean Davis, 20.

Her body was found in Portage County along Congress Lake Road on September 28, 1975.

Tallmadge police tell FOX 8 they developed new evidence in 2013 that led them to Sapharas.

Sapharas is being held in the Summit County Jail.

His indictment includes charges of murder, maiming or disfiguring, aggravated murder, kidnapping and attempted rape.

His arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 a.m.

According to WTTE, Sapharas was acquitted in a Licking County cold case in 2018.

He was on trial for the murder of Bonita Parker in that case.

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