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Woman’s body found in barrel: Fearful family’s tip led police to Middletown home

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Middletown Police investigating suspicious death on Yankee Road

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Middletown police received a phone call Tuesday saying a woman’s dead body was inside a barrel behind a house in the 3200 block of Yankee Road.

The tip came from a relative of a different woman who lived there and feared for her life, according to Middletown police Maj. Scott Reeve. He called it “a threatening situation.”

She confided in a family member who later called police, Reeve said. The woman found Tuesday had been dead for two to three days, he said.

When police knocked on the door Tuesday afternoon of 3221 Yankee Road and told William Slaton, 35, about the complaint, he refused to let officers inside, Reeve said. Slaton went back into the house, ran out the back and dumped the barrel over a fence and into the neighbor’s yard, Reeve said.

Police found the woman’s body in the barrel that had a lid. Her body was removed by Butler County Coroner’s Office investigators, then the barrel, wrapped in brown paper by police officers, was loaded into the back of a pickup truck and driven to the police station.

An autopsy was performed Wednesday, but no results were released, according to Martin Schneider, coroner’s office administrator.

Maj. Leanne Hood said the 911 call couldn’t be released to the media because there are things on call that are “detrimental” to the ongoing investigation.

Slaton was charged Tuesday night with gross abuse of a corpse, failure to report a crime or death and tampering with evidence, police said. More charges are possible once the autopsy is complete and the case is reviewed by the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office, Reeve said.

Slaton appeared for his arraignment Wednesday morning in Middletown Municipal Court and Judge James Sherron set Slaton’s cash, surety or property bond at $210,000. He remained in the City Jail Wednesday night, according to records.

His arraignment was continued until July 8 and he was appointed attorney Morgan Kohler, according to records.

Slaton has 14 prior charges in Middletown, including robbery, intoxication, domestic violence and breaking and entering, according to court documents.