MARION, Ohio — Investigators have received about a dozen tips in the past month since they say an Ohio suspect in four killings told them his first victim was a woman selling magazines door-to-door more than a decade ago, but her name is still a mystery.
About half of the tips appeared to be promising, but so far little is known about the woman whose body was found in 2007, said Marion County Sheriff Tim Bailey.
Tips that the victim might be a woman missing in Canada or one from California didn’t match.
“We’re not giving up,” Bailey said. “If this takes another six months or a year, we’re going to continue to make every attempt to identify her and notify her family and get her back to her family.”
Shawn Grate talked with investigators about the woman’s death on three occasions and helped a sketch artist come up with an image of her, the sheriff’s office has said.
He told them he thinks the woman was named something like Dana or Diane but is unsure and that she was in her mid-20s when he killed her around 2005, investigators said.
Grate, 40, has not been charged in her death or the death of another woman he told authorities he killed earlier this summer. Her body was found near Mansfield and she also has not been identified.
Grate’s attorneys haven’t returned calls.
Investigators told The Marion Star (http://ohne.ws/2erK2dR ) that the length of time has made it difficult to track down any records that could help identify the victim whose body was found in 2007.
Grate pleaded not guilty in September to the killings of two women whose bodies were found in a vacant home in Ashland after another woman called 911 and said she was being held inside one of its bedrooms.
Once in custody, authorities say, he told them he had killed another woman earlier this summer and the fourth woman in Marion County, where he grew up. Police now are looking at whether Grate was involved in the disappearance or death of a fifth woman over a year ago.
Information from: The Marion Star, http://www.marionstar.com