CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Authorities recovered two bodies from shallow graves in Ohio on Friday that may be linked to the shooting of one man and suspicious death of another who had responded to online help wanted ads.
Few details were released about the recoveries of one body from behind a semi-vacant shopping mall in Akron and a white male from a shallow grave in rural Ohio east of Columbus in the area where a man said he was shot in the arm three weeks ago.
FBI special agent Vicki Anderson said authorities had received information that prompted the searches in the specific locations on Friday and said the situations were “similar” to circumstances raised earlier this month.
The Summit County Coroner was expected to perform an autopsy on the body found in Akron. An autopsy on the Noble County body will be performed by the Licking County coroner.
Authorities launched an investigation after a man said he had been shot in the arm fleeing from two people he had met after responding to a posting on Craigslist for a job overseeing “a 688 acre cattle ranch” in Ohio.
Earlier this week, federal authorities said they were searching for an Ohio man who relatives said had answered an online ad similar to the Craigslist posting. Timothy Kern, 47, was last seen November 3 south of Cleveland, Anderson said.
The FBI became involved because the “circumstance and similarities” of Kern’s disappearance matched those of at least two other Craigslist-connected incidents in Ohio in which the victims were lured by possible employment, Anderson said.
A Craigslist ad was used to bring a South Carolina man, identified by local media as Scott Davis, 48, to Ohio earlier in November. Davis told a local sheriff he was shot in the arm on November 6 as he ran away from two men.
Davis said he hid in the woods for hours before walking two miles for help. Authorities arrested two suspects in connection with the shooting, including a 16-year-old high school junior. The boy was charged last week with attempted murder and complicity to attempted murder in juvenile court.
Local media have identified the second suspect in the shooting as Richard J. Beasley, 52, of Akron.
Authorities found the body of a man identified by local media as David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Virginia, in a shallow grave not far from where Davis said he was shot.
The search for the Virginia man was launched after a woman notified authorities that her twin brother had gone missing after he also responded to a Craigslist ad for work in Ohio.
(Writing and additional reporting by Eric Johnson in Chicago; Editing by David Bailey)
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