Joseph Oberhansley: 'There was blood everywhere,' officers recount entering cannibal killer victim's apartment
JEFFERSONVILLE, INDIANA: Joseph Oberhansley, the Indiana man accused of killing and eating parts of his former girlfriend's organs, appeared for his trial on Monday, September 14, where officials revealed that when they first entered the victim's apartment "there was blood everywhere." One officer, during the trial in Clark County, also revealed that Oberhansley, 38, appeared "nervous" when the police asked him his former girlfriend's whereabouts.
Oberhansley has been charged with burglary, rape, and murder after police found Tammy Jo Blanton’s lifeless body in her bathtub on September 11, 2014. Prosecutors, on the second day of the trial on Monday, focused on the day of the murder and called nearly 10 witnesses to testify, including Blanton's good friend and Jefferson police officers who had responded to a welfare check on September 11 six years ago.
Officers revealed that when they arrived at Blanton's home, they found Oberhandley outside the home pacing and he appeared "nervous." When officials asked him about Blanton, he reportedly directed the conversation to his car and that he had to take it to his workplace, a car dealership in New Albany. Officers said that the 38-year-old was non-compliant when they ordered a pat-down and he was promptly arrested on the property. A bloody knife was later recovered from his pocket.
One officer, during Oberhandley's arrest, went inside Blanton's home to look for her. She described that the back door appeared as if it had been forced open and when she entered the house, there was blood throughout the house. She also found a tarp with tools on the ground, blood on light switches, in the kitchen, on her walls and shower curtains. Blanton's body was eventually found in the bathtub with parts of her organs missing. "There was blood everywhere,” the officer said, according to Wave 3 News.
Oberhansley, ever since his arrest, has maintained his innocence. Defense attorney Bart Betteau, on Monday, also challenged the recollection of police officers and questioned them on whether any of them believed that his client was not mentally stable. Meanwhile, the prosecutor, during the trial, presented multiple pieces of evidence collected from Blanton's home, including a butcher knife, steak knife and frying pan. All of the items had blood on them. Reports state that a detective, on the day of the crime, also found a scroll saw without blood on it. Oberhansley is also accused of eating some of Blanton's organs as detectives found parts of her heart, brain, and lungs missing.
The jury, during the trial, also heard about what happened in the days leading up to Blanton's murder. On of Blanton's friends and coworkers, Tessa Shepherd, testified that Blanton had told her Oberhansley raped her the previous weekend after a company picnic. Blanton, however, did not alert the authorities and "went along with it to keep the peace," according to the friend. "She was trying to get away from Joseph but did not want to tip him off that she was leaving," Shepherd said during her testimony.
The trial is set to continue on Wednesday, September 16. Public is not permitted inside the courtroom during the trial because of coronavirus restrictions.