Missing Ohio Man Found Dead in Alleged Hookup’s Closet
Ohio police are currently investigating whether a man allegedly used an online ad to lure another man to his home to kill him, Ohio’s Record-Courier reports.
Authorities arrested and charged John R. Fox, 34, of Franklin Township, Ohio, last week with the murder of Justin Tyler Earley, 22.
Earley had been missing for three weeks before police found his body in Fox’s closet earlier this month.
According to Chief Investigator Thomas Decker, the incident is being investigated as "suspicious." He added that the cause of death has not yet been confirmed, and officials are also waiting for the results of microscopic evidence for further analysis.
Portage County Sheriff David Doak told the Record-Courier that the two men did not know each other before their first encounter.
The newspaper reports that two ads have been discovered on backpage.com, a website usually used, among other things, for hooking up. A Dec. 12 post reads that a man named "Tyler," a college student, was looking for a man to have a good time with. "Tyler" placed a similar ad on Dec. 19, offering "incalls" and "outcalls." The Record-Courier writes that an "incall" is when a "john" visits a prostitute and an "outcall" is when the prostitute visits the "john."
Both of the ads have a picture of "Tyler" and his phone number. Police Detective Lt. John Jenkins confirmed that "Tyler" was Earley. Authorities say Fox posted an ad on Craig’s list on Dec. 29, the day before Early disappeared, and solicited a man to come to his home. Craig’s list has since taken the ad down, but Fox apparently responded to an ad on backpage.com as well.
After friends couldn’t get hold of Earley after his alleged meeting with a man, his roommate filed a missing persons report on New Year’s Eve. After tracing Earley to Fox’s home, authorities gained a search warrant to investigate Fox’s apartment and found Earley’s car in the parking lot and his body in Fox’s closet.
Fox is being held without bond in Portage County Municipal Court. Fox is a registered sex offender after being convicted of unlawful conduct with a minor and a fourth-degree felony in September 2006, the newspaper reports. The indictment says Fox engaged in sexual conduct with a 14-year-old girl between October and December 2004. He was sentenced to six months in prison and labeled a sexually oriented offender.