NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Nov. 6, 2023) – The Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office has been working to get an identity and cause of death for the body discovered by a hunter in Sandy Township Saturday morning.
Sheriff Orvis Cambell says the decomposed body, believed to be female, was located over an embankment off the side of Orchard Road near Dover-Zoar Road around 10:30 a.m.
“(The body) certainly would have not been seen easily by someone who was just driving by,” Campbell said.
Campbell believes the body had been there for several weeks or a few months, as opposed to years.
Campbell says the sheriff’s office shared the information on social media Saturday for any tips. He says they’ve also contacted Stark County authorities about reports of women missing from there.
“We’ll certainly be able to confirm, or eliminate, the identity of those missing females by working with those agencies and obtaining DNA from the relatives,” he said. “We’re confident that if it’s one of those individuals, we’ll be able to identify them, and then we’ll just work with those agencies to work the case backwards.”
Campbell says there were no obvious signs of trauma, but it still appears something criminal happened.
“There’s obvious foul play because the body should not have ended up there on its own,” he said. “It’s tough to imagine that somebody was just walking and fell over and died, but there are lots of scenarios.”
He said the body could have been dumped following a drug overdose, or, in a less-likely possibility, struck by a vehicle and abandoned.
Campbell hopes to get more answers from the autopsy that is being performed in Cuyahoga County.
“We can’t rule out everything right now, but the pathology that will take place at Cuyahoga County will certainly help us with that,” said Campbell.