Ohio man chops off woman's fingers, hides body in drum after finding her 'hanging in basement' after drug night
BUTLER COUNTY, OHIO: A 35-year-old man from Ohio was arrested and charged with gross abuse of a corpse after he allegedly mutilated the body of a 21-year-old woman he found hanging in his basement. The man, identified as William Slaton, cut off all of the victim's fingers, removed her tattoos with a razor, and then stuffed her into a barrel, according to police.
The Butler County coroner’s office said that the remains of Cecily Cornett, of Somerville, were found on June 30 in a barrel at Slaton's home on Yankee Road in Middletown. Authorities arrested Slaton after he allegedly tossed the barrel containing Cornett's naked body over a backyard fence when police arrived at the scene. Officials have not yet disclosed whether Slaton killed the woman, according to the Dayton Daily News. The 21-year-old's cause and manner of death have not yet been disclosed.
When the officers opened the drum, they found Cornett's body covered in blowflies. Slaton, in addition to abuse of a corpse, is also charged with evidence-tampering and failure to report a crime or death. Court documents stated that Slaton told officers he woke up in the morning after a night of using drugs and went downstairs to find Cornett hanging in the basement. He then allegedly cut off her fingers and used a razor to slice off all of her tattoos. According to records, Slaton put the severed fingers and the skin in a bowl, sealed it, and placed it in the basement.
The 35-year-old, during his interview with police, allegedly admitted to leaving the woman's body in his cellar for several days before stuffing it into a metal drum in his cluttered backyard. Reports state that a woman, who lived in Slaton's home, alerted a relative to tell them about Cornett's death. That relative then reportedly tipped off the local police about the body.
"There is supposed to be a person who died of an overdose three days ago at [3200 block of] Yankee Road. As far as I know the body is still there that’s what I was told," the unnamed caller told a 911 dispatcher. "She said somebody overdosed a few days ago and somebody put it in a 55-gallon drum in the backyard."
Shortly after his arrest, Slaton appeared in court last week where his bond was set at $210,000. The 35-year-old could also face additional charges once the autopsy results are out, according to police. The victim's mother, Marilyn Hardy Cornett, took to Facbook recently and questioned the allegation that Cornett died of an overdose. She wrote: "For everyone spreading rumors or telling lies... our daughter Cecily Cornett was not unloved and was not homeless and was not a drug addict. Some sick evil demon monster took and mutilated her beautiful body for a reason... and he will pay for it!!!!!"
Slaton has a lengthy criminal history, including child pornography charges. The 35-year-old, in 2011, was also charged with eight counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance and four counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.