What some Ohio residents thought to be a gory Halloween decoration set up to prank the workers at a nearby construction site in Chillicothe turned out to be something much more horrifying.
The brutally beaten body of a 31-year-old struggling mother was found hanging by her sleeve from a chain-link fence near an American Electric Power construction site on Tuesday. The woman died from severe blunt force trauma to head and face, and was so badly injured that at first authorities couldn't determine if the body belonged to a male or female, according to police.
Contractors working in the area believed the body was a decoration and went to remove it. However, once the mistake became clear, they called the police to the scene. The authorities later identified the victim as Rebecca Cade – an area resident who had a few run-ins with the law over the past couple of years.
As the preliminary report suggests, Cade was fleeing from her would-be-murderer when her sleeve got caught in the barbed metal wire on the fence. There were defensive wounds on Cade’s arm, and a rock – about the size of an orange or a grapefruit – was found near her corpse, covered in blood.
“I thought somebody was playing a prank on the construction workers and I told my daughter it was just a dummy,” recalled neighbor Tammy Dixon Tammy Dixon, who saw Cade’s body when she left to drop her child off at school. “It was so awful that I thought the prank went too far.”
Police arrested an acquaintance, Donnie Cochenour Jr., in connection to Cade’s murder. Charged with one count of murder and reportedly on suicide watch at Ross County Jail, the 27-year-old’s bail was set at $2 million. It is unclear if he has an attorney.
“Rebecca didn’t deserve that, what happened to her,” said Denise Hughes, a friend who is raising Cade’s young child. “She was always running the streets and always doing the drugs, but she had people who loved her. I hope she knew that.”
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