Chillicothe's Missing Women
A small wooden cross reading, "In loving memory of someone we never knew... With all of our love and prayers Mike and Jen," is planted in the ground feet from where the body of Timberly Claytor was found dead off Tregor Creek Road. A small memorial of flowers were also left at the site in her honor.
Six women from Chillicothe have gone missing. Four have been found dead. Through it all, a small community has banded together to provide support to the family and friends of the missing women and to do everything they can to prevent more women from being added to the list of missing persons.
A Dark Beginning to the New Year
A cold New Years Eve was spent scouring the Scioto River near Higby Road for Shasta Himelrick after she was reported missing for three days. Members of the sheriff's department stood on the bridge as they monitored the work of investigators searching the river for evidence of Himelrick's remains after her vehicle was found parked near the area.
Brad Swinning of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft was one of the investigators searching the river unsuccessfully on New Years Eve and unloaded equipment from a boat used to search for Himelrick.
Finally, on Friday of that week, a body was found in the river. After being taken into custody by the coroner's office a positive identification was released to confirm that the body pulled from the river was that of Shasta Himelrick.
A Community Takes Action
Angry and grieving family, friends and community members gathered at Strawser Park to make handmade signs with messages of support for the missing Chillicothe women with hopes that it will help them be brought home safely. Others carried signs in tribute to remember those women who had been found dead.
Led by a police escort, the group, organized by the Facebook group the Chillicothe Ohio Missing Women, walked from the park through downtown to raise awareness about the missing women and to serve as a reminder to those in the more troubled neighborhoods that the area was being kept under close watch now by the group.
Bring Our Girls Home
As the story of the missing women of Chillicothe begins to attract national media attention supporters once again take to the streets to carry signs of hope, love and remembrance. The group travelled throughout downtown Chillicothe again to remind residents that these women were not forgotten.
Leading the walk was the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence who, according the Chillicothe Gazette, wanted to, “Show that our community still cares,” and that they want the missing women to come back home safely.
A Violent Death Shakes the Community
An abandoned building next to a small creek became the final resting place for the body of a woman, later identified as Timberly Claytor, to be abandoned.
The scene of the crime, located at 3216 Trego Creek Road, was discovered by a resident walking past the building on Friday, June 29. Reports from the Ross County Coroner’s Office indicated that while the autopsy report was not yet available for release they could confirm Claytor had been shot.
While the body remained partially hidden from view from the road, blood and sandals could be seen on the gravel drive next to the building.
Jason McCrary was later named the lead suspect in the case and awaits trial in Ross County.
Take It Back, Make It Ours
Tameka Lynch. Deceased. Shasta Himelrick. Deceased. Timberly Claytor. Deceased. Tiffany Sayre. Deceased. Charlotte Trego. Missing. Wanda Lemons. Missing.
Four dead women and two missing women have left a small Ohio community reeling under an increasingly bright national spotlight. Chillicothe family, friends and community members tried to cope with the deaths of the women and find answers as to what happened through local law enforcement and community leaders during a rally held in front of the Ross County Courthouse on Monday, June 29.
The community march was led by law enforcement carrying a large banner reading, “Take It Back, Make It Ours," from Second Street to Bridge Street. Trailing behind the banner were family members of the dead and missing women in addition to many friends and community members who began to chant, “Take it Back,” as they walked through streets that have been known to be associated with the sale of drugs and prostitution.
A warm September evening saw the parents and other close family members of the missing women of Chillicothe gather in a shelter house in Yoctangee Park in Chillicothe to talk and pray.
Slowly, the members of the party walked out into a clearing to stand in a circle, each holding a balloon with a name or message written on it. One by one, the parents of the missing or deceased women stood in the center of the circle, made a brief comment or prayer and released the balloon to float up and over the city.
Vickie Cottrill, mother of Erica Cottrill, released a balloon with her daughters name on it during the vigil.
Angela Robinson and Thomas Lee, parents of Tameka Lynch released a balloon together during the vigil.
Eyvon Boggs, mother of Charlotte Trego, released a balloon during the vigil for her missing daughter.
Diana Willett, mother of Wanda Lemons, released a balloon during the vigil for her missing daughter.
Balloons were released for the other women who did not have family representatives at the vigil before the group, sharing hugs and final words of comfort, departed.