Headline News

Murder Victim A New London HS Graduate

By Jane Ernsberger
Special To The Record

The body of a missing Greenwich woman has been found in an abandoned house in Ashland, according to Chief David Marcelli of the Ashland Police Department.

Marcelli confirmed one of two bodies found inside of a vacant house is that of Stacey Stanley, 43, of Greenwich. She is a 1992 graduate of New London High School.

Shawn Michael Grate, 40, with no permanent address, has been arrested by Ashland Police Department. According to Christopher Tunnell, the prosecuting attorney in Ashland County, a felony complaint was filed against Grate charging him with two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping.

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard said her family reported Stanley as a missing person on Sept. 10. Deputies were told Stanley had been missing for two days before that.

“We received information that she was last seen in Ashland,” Howard said.

An advisory BOLO (Be on the Lookout) was broadcast to law enforcement departments, he added. Stanley was also entered into the Law Enforcement Automated Data System with a physical description and a description of the car she was driving.

“We’ve had some cases where an individual just leaves with no intention of telling anyone,” Howard said. “When it is not something that a person would do or is out of character, obviously there is a need for an investigation.”

On Sept. 13, Marcelli said the Ashland Police Department received a 9-1-1 call from a female saying she was being held against her will at 363 Covert Court. When officers arrived at the home, Marcelli said they were able to rescue the woman.

Marcelli said two bodies were found inside the abandoned house. He confirmed one was that of Stanley. He declined to saw where the bodies were found, citing the ongoing investigation.

Marcelli said the charge for kidnapping stems from the woman who made the 9-1-1 call.

Greenwich Police Chief Steve Dorsey said Stanley did live in the area.

“We would see her occasionally in the village,” he noted.

Tunnell said one of the murder counts is for the death of Stanley. Police have identified the second victim as an Ashland resident. The second count of murder is for the Ashland woman. Grate faces from15 year to life in prison on a conviction for each count of murder.

The kidnapping charge, he noted, alleges that Grate held the female victim against her will for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. A conviction carries a prison term of three to 11 years. He is presently incarcerated in the Ashland County Jail and has been charged with one count of abduction.

The case remains under investigation in Ashland, according to Marcelli.

While investigators in Ashland County were talking to Grate, they said they received information of an alleged homicide of a woman at 1027 Park Avenue East outside of the City of Mansfield in Richland County. The information also revealed the body had allegedly been disposed of in the woods near the property.

According to Richland County Prosecutor Bambi Couch Page, a search of the surrounding woodland at that address led to the discovery of a body near a ravine. No confirmation of this person’s identity has been made, she said. The case remains under investigation, according to Marcelli.

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