Questions Remain After Mom, Boy Found Dead

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TALLMADGE, Ohio-- A Northeast Ohio family receives the tragic news they might have been expecting, but did not want to hear: Two bodies found in a wooded area behind a home belong to a mother and her five-year-old son.

"Five-year-old Peyton has been identified, so now both bodies have been identified," announced Tallmadge police Lt. Ron Williams, at a morning news conference.

Two bodies found Saturday morning in a wooded area behind a home on Stone Creek Drive have been identified as 31-year-old Wendy Ralston and her son, Peyton.

"We don't yet have a cause of death. We don't yet have a time of death. We are establishing a solid timeline and we have yet to identify a suspect," Williams said.

The bodies were found wrapped in bedding, such as a blanket or comforter.

Investigators said they have interviewed several people, including Wendy's 39-year-old live-in boyfriend, and the boy's father.

Police said he has been living at the home since the two went missing. They will only say he is a person of interest.

"We've talked to him. We do not have a suspect," said Williams.

Police said they believe Wendy has been missing since July 23. That's the last time she posted a comment on her Facebook page.

Her mother reported her missing August 7. Police said it was not uncommon for her to have breaks in contact with her family.

"The amount of evidence, and I'm not gonna go into specifics, is substantial and is gonna take time to sort through," Williams said.

Investigators said it is likely that Wendy and Peyton were killed inside the house. They have recovered evidence from there, a field behind the home, and they're looking at two vehicles.

They also said they have responded to the home several times for domestic problems.

"I never spoke with her personally. She always waved. She was very nice," said neighbor, Kara Butcher.

Some neighbors, like Butcher, feel uneasy since no one has been arrested. But police feel they have little to worry about.

"We've had at least two police officers on that house since this has become knowledge, so I can understand their concern, but I also feel that they're pretty secure in their homes at this time," Williams said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Tallmadge police at 330-475-7638.

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