Ohio Woman, 21, Was Found Dead in Barrel — and Now Man Is Accused of Killing, Dismembering Her

An Ohio man who has been in police custody since June, when authorities found a woman's body in a barrel at his home, was indicted last week on murder, felonious assault, evidence tampering and other charges, according to local reports.

The Journal-News, WXIX-TV and WKRC all report that a grand jury indicted William Slaton, 35, for the murder of Cecily Cornett.

The 21-year-old victim's naked body was found inside a barrel that was allegedly discovered on Slaton's Middletown, Ohio, property.

Cornett's remains had been placed inside a metal drum; Slaton allegedly told police she'd hung herself in his basement.

The Journal-News reports that, in addition to murder, felonious assault, and tampering with evidence, Slaton was indicted for involuntary manslaughter, assault and gross abuse of a corpse.

Police allege Slaton removed Cornett's fingers and tattoos with a knife before placing her in the barrel.

Slaton was first arrested June 30 on gross abuse of a corpse, failure to report a crime or death and tampering with evidence charges.

He is being held on $210,000 bond, and has yet to enter a formal plea to the charges against him. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

The local coverage confirms that a cause and manner of death is still pending in this case.

Prosecutors reportedly said that, despite not having this critical information, they had more than enough evidence to present the case to a grand jury.

An anonymous caller led the Middletown Police to Slaton's property; the specific tip was that he had stuffed a woman's body into a barrel.

Police reportedly knocked on Slaton's door and told him why they were there. At this point, he allegedly ran back into his house, out into the backyard, and hurled the barrel over a fence into a neighbor's yard.

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After finding the body, police interviewed Slaton, who allegedly said Cornett had died four or five days earlier. He allegedly said he woke up following a night of heavy drug use to find her hanging in the basement.

He allegedly said he placed her in a barrel two days later.

Local reports confirm that in 2011, Slaton was convicted in Ohio of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance and four counts of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor.

He subsequently served seven years in prison.

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