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GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — A manhunt was underway for the person who stabbed to death a woman and left her body behind a house in Garfield Heights.

Garfield Heights police said Marlon Ricks, 41, is suspected of stabbing to death his 25-year-old girlfriend and leaving her body in the backyard of his sister’s home on Grace Avenue.

The woman’s body was discovered just before noon Monday.

Police said she had been stabbed multiple times.

“The detectives started coming in, forensics, coroners, everything, and then cops came over here to talk to us and asked us if we knew anything, and he told us there was a body over there,” said neighbor Melissa Rimmel.

“A police officer knocked on our door and told us that there was a body in the back, and if we’ve heard anything from last night til this morning, and I told them no,” said neighbor Ben Nickles.

“We believe he may be driving her car, her car is missing.  It’s a (maroon) 2004 Chevy Trailblazer,” said Garfield Heights Police Chief Robert Sackett.

Police in Oakwood Village searched the victim’s apartment Monday afternoon.

On Saturday, the woman’s mother reported her missing after she did not show up to visit her in Ashtabula as scheduled.

According to the report, she and Marlon Ricks have been dating off and on for six months.

“The guy that’s accused of doing it seemed like a really nice guy, he never caused no problems.  He went to work everyday, he, I don’t know, he went to work in the morning, he came home at night,” said neighbor Jim Wright.

Suspect: Marlon Ricks

“I only met him one time and I thought he was just a quiet guy.  Very nice, no problems, went to work everyday, he walked to the bus stop, walked back, always waved hi, waved his hand or whatever,” said neighbor Tina Schmidt.

According to court records, Ricks spent about 20 years in prison after he was convicted of murder, aggravated burglary, kidnapping and felonious assault in 1990.

He was released from prison last April.

Detectives believe the murder happened sometime over the weekend, but they are not sure exactly when or where.

“The houses are so close together, you would think someone would hear something, but I guess not,” said Rimmel.

Investigators believe Ricks may be driving the victim’s car, a 2004 maroon Chevy Trailblazer with Ohio license plate DFJ-4455.

According to the missing persons report, the woman’s apartment in Oakwood Village was neat, and nothing appeared to be out of place when officers went inside.

Anyone who sees Ricks or the vehicle should avoid contact and instead call the Garfield Heights Police Department at (216) 475-1234.