Pa. coroner confirms Beaver Twp. woman’s death was homicide

Staff report


The Crawford County coroner has confirmed the death of an Ohio woman was homicide and that she died the same day she left her grandparents’ Beaver Township home.

Coroner Scott T. Schell said Brandy M. Stevens, 20, of Beaver Township, died and was buried May 17. He has not yet declared a cause of death.

“We’re waiting for tests from pathologists. Ms. Stevens had multiple injuries caused by multiple different objects. ... She had a wide range of traumatic injuries,” Schell said.

The coroner said he expects to have more information next week.

Two women, Ashley Marie Barber, 20, and Jade Nichole Olmstead, 18, both of Cochranton, Pa., are charged with criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit criminal homicide and tampering with evidence in Stevens’ death. They were denied bond and jailed at the Crawford County Correctional Facility.

Stevens’ grandparents reported Stevens missing from their South Avenue home May 19 to Beaver Township police, according to reports. Stevens had left their residence May 17.

Beaver Township police have said Olmstead lived with Stevens and her grandparents for a while and that officers had been called to the residence for minor issues between the two women, but nothing that ended in an arrest.

A Beaver Township police investigation that included tracking Stevens’ cellphone records led detectives to contact the Pennsylvania State Police in Meadville to see if Stevens was at 29558 Drake Hill Road in Cochranton, where Olmstead and Barber were believed to be residing. Stevens’ body was found Wednesday in a shallow grave on the Drake Hill property.

Pennsylvania State Police said both women have admitted their role in the killing.

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