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Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

Hamilton police: Man now deceased responsible for death of woman found dismembered in truck

Powers, 39, was identified by the Butler County Coroner’s Office days after her body was discovered. Her last known address was listed in Fairfield.

A Ross Twp. woman “discovered what she believed to be a deceased person” at about 3:15 p.m. on Dec. 6, according to a Hamilton police report.

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The coroner’s office was called that day to the residence in the 2100 block of Robin Avenue and pronounced Powers dead, according to Martin Schneider, the coroner’s office administrator.

Today, Schneider said the mode and manner of Powers’ death could not be determined because of the condition of the body.

Police said Powers’ body was “unwittingly” transported to Ross Twp., where she was discovered. Before the body was discovered, the vehicle was parked at Jackson’s Auto Care on South B Street in Hamilton. Police towed a red Saturn VUE as evidence.

According to police, Powers was not close to family members, but her address on the police report is Bartel Drive in Fairfield. No one answered the door today at that residence.

Powers’ brother Brian Ernest told WCPO, a Journal-News media partner, that his sister had drug problems and minor arrests, and he spent more than a year certain that something terrible had happened to her.

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“I loved her,” Ernest said. “She always came by, and we helped her. Most people in the family wouldn’t help her, but she came here.”

In June 2017, Powers filed an assault report with Hamilton police stating a man struck her in the back of the head several times, cut her finger and hit her on the left knee with a plastic pipe, according to the report. The report listed Powers and the man as living together in Hamilton.

The man, then 61, of the 2100 block of Pleasant Avenue, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. The case was finished in August 2017, according to court records.

In November 2018, the man died at his residence, according to police records and a Journal-News obituary. His daughter inherited the Saturn, and Powers’ body was discovered when she drove it to her home from the auto repair location.

Hamilton police believe Powers’ body had been in the vehicle at the man’s residence for a year.

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said detectives are closing the case believing the man Powers lived with is responsible for her death.

“We have conducted a thorough investigation, and all the evidence and information we have obtained indicates he caused her death, dismembered her body and concealed it in the trunk of his car,” Bucheit said.

Bucheit said if the man were still alive, they would be seeking an indictment against him.

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