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Coroner identifies woman found dead in barrel in Middletown

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Middletown Police investigating suspicious death on Yankee Road

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Somerville woman has been identified as the person found dead last week in a barrel in Middletown.

Cecily S. Cornett, 21, was identified today by the Butler County Coroner’s Office. Her cause and manner of death are listed as pending by the coroner.

William Slaton, 35, was arrested last week after police discovered the woman’s body in a barrel at his home in the 3200 block of Yankee Road. He is charged with gross abuse of a corpse, failure to report a crime or death and tampering with evidence, police said.

MORE: Man accused of putting woman in barrell went to prison for child pornography conviction

Middletown police were called around 1 p.m. on June 30 to Slaton’s home to investigate a tip about a dead woman in a barrel on the property. When police knocked on the door and told Slaton about the complaint, he refused to let officers inside. He went back into the house, ran out the back and dumped the barrel over a fence into a neighbor’s yard, Middletown police Maj. Scott Reeve said.

When officers opened the barrel, they found a nude woman’s body.

During an interview with detectives, Slaton admitted to being in the house with the victim and said after using drugs, he woke up and found her hanging in the basement, according to Middletown Municipal Court documents.

“Mr. (Slaton) stated he then used a sharp object to cut off all the victim’s fingers. He then used a razor knife to cut off all the victim’s tattoos on her body,” according to the complaint written by detective Ken Mynhier.

Slaton said he put the pieces of her body in a sealed bowl and hid the fingers and skin in the basement, according to the complaint. He allowed the woman’s body to lay in the basement for a few days before he placed her in the drum in the backyard.