Homicide victim identity sought

Staff report


The Mahoning County Coroner’s office is asking for the public’s help in identifying the victim of the city’s latest homicide.

The woman, who had been stabbed to death, was found Monday morning in a field on North West Avenue across the street from the city Water Department’s engineering division.

Dr. Joseph Ohr, deputy coroner and forensic pathologist, said the woman was white and 20 to 30 years old.

The 5-foot-9-inch, 130-pound woman was found wearing only a black bra. She had long, dark, wavy hair to her midback and wore an alligator or claw-style hair clip that is decorated with black, cloth roses. She wore a silver, chain-link necklace with a skeleton-style key and no other jewelry. She had green or hazel eyes, and Ohr said her teeth were in good condition.

The victim’s fingernails were short and she wore no nail polish. She had no scars or tattoos.

Photos of the victim’s face and her fingerprints have been sent to the city police, who are investigating.

Anyone with information about the victim should speak to Lt. Doug Bobovnyik of the detective bureau at 330-742-8911.

Dr. Ohr said an autopsy is scheduled for this morning.

The body was discovered at 8:20 a.m. during routine patrol by Patrolman Matt Willis of the city police.

Dr. Ohr estimated the woman had been dead 12 to 18 hours before her body was discovered.

“Any cameras that were in the area will certainly be sought out and searched for their content, including the water department [surveillance] cameras,” said Capt. Mark Milstead, chief of detectives.

He also said the department is seeking video from dozens of business security cameras, including those at bars and large retail stores and those with views along a road the killer may have traveled, he added.

“We have some leads, but nothing we want to discuss just yet” publicly, he said.

The Youngstown Police Department does not have any missing persons reports that match the victim’s description, but it has sent teletypes to all Northeast Ohio police departments requesting reports of missing persons matching the victim’s description, he said.

This is the city’s 13th homicide of 2013. The city’s last previous homicide victim was Ivan DeMorris West, 28, of Liberty Township, who was found lying in a second-floor apartment at 107 Hilton Ave. after he was fatally stabbed in the chest.

At this time in 2012, there were 21 homicides in the city. There were 26 city homicides in all of 2012.

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