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Woman accused of dumping body after overdose pleads not guilty

| April 1, 2022
Cekoyia Riechers, 25, of Akron, was arraigned in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Friday morning on a grand jury indictment charging her with gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and failing to report a death in connection with the discovery of 38-year-old Amber Sherell's body along White Bridge Road last October. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 1, 2022) – One of the suspects charged in connection with the dumping of a Dover woman’s body along a Goshen Township road made her first court appearance in a room packed with the woman’s friends and relatives.

25-year-old Cekoyia Riechers of Akron is charged in a five-count grand jury indictment with gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and failing to report a death in connection with the discovery of 38-year-old Amber Sherrell’s body along White Bridge Road near Route 416 last October. Riechers was arraigned this morning in the courtroom of Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest, who read from the indictment.

“Gross abuse of a corpse, a felony of the fifth degree in violation of 2927.01(B) under revised code. The dates this allegedly occurred were October 23rd, 2021, to October 26th, 202a, and they concluded that you… did treat a human corpse in a way that would outrage reasonable community sensibilities.”

Riechers pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on pre-trial supervision with a GPS ankle monitor. The judge ordered the tracking device after Assistant Prosecutor Scott Deedrick told him Riechers was not at the address she provided to the courts when officers arrived there to serve the paperwork.

“And at that time, in the middle of March, her mother indicated she had moved out the day before, attempted to reach her by phone in front of the officer, was not able to reach her and there was no follow-up contact.”

The judge has a telephone conference on April 26th with the attorneys to schedule further proceedings. Reichers’ former boyfriend, 38-year-old Daniel Fitzgerald, is facing nearly identical charges for allegedly helping her dispose of Sherrell’s body days after she died from a drug overdose at a home on Johnson Avenue in Dover. He will appear by video from the Lorain County jail for his arraignment on April 24th.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Officer performed the autopsy and determined that Sherrell died from the combined toxic effects of multiple drugs including fentanyl oxycodone and methamphetamine.

Riechers struck a pose and smiled at a reporter taking a photo before exiting the courtroom this morning.

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