An Ohio man and his girlfriend have been accused of stuffing the remains of his missing ex-girlfriend in his freezer.
According to a police, Arturo Novoa (aka Anthony Gonzalez), 31, (above, left) and Katrina Layton, 34, (above, right) were charged with abuse of a corpse, which was discovered on Saturday in multiple bags inside the freezer by the wife of Novoa’s landlord.
Authorities believe the victim is Shannon Graves, 28, Novoa’s ex who was reported missing on June 22. Graves is presumed to be dead and the victim of foul play, per a criminal complaint filed on Tuesday.
Youngstown City Prosecutor Dana Lantz told BuzzFeed News that Layton became Novoa’s live-in girlfriend and “started living the life of the victim.”
Layton reportedly moved into Graves’ home with Novoa and essentially replaced the victim — driving her car, using her cell phone and food card, even looking after her dog.
While the girlfriend swap was not a case of identity theft, Lantz said that Layton “basically took over [Graves’] place in Mr. Novoa’s life.”
Novoa had asked to store his freezer in the basement of his landlord Kenny Eshenbaugh, claiming his power had been cut and that he didn’t want “his freezer full of meat to spoil.”
Despite noticing the freezer was locked with a padlock, Eshenbaugh agreed to take it in. On Saturday, his wife opened the freezer and discovered the remains.
Police were immediately alerted and recovered the frozen remains, kept in “more than one bag,” according to the complaint. The couple was arrested on Saturday.
Novoa and Layton are currently being held in jail facing felony charges that carry a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison. Once the identity of the body is confirmed, they could face additional charges.
[Image via Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department.]