People.com reports that a 17-year-old has been arrested and is accused of killing his 98-year-old neighbor in Wadsworth, Ohio. Margaret Douglas’ body was found in a closet beneath a pile of clothes and other personal items.
The teen has been charged with aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and abuse of a corpse. The victim and accused lived in the same neighborhood. A relative of Douglas reported her missing after concerned friends said they hadn’t seen her since April 3.
Police did not find Douglas’ body during their initial search of her home and found no sign of forced entry. They returned to conduct a more thorough search and found the body hidden in the closet.
The suspect is accused of strangling Douglas. Police have not discovered a motive for the crime, but they do acknowledge the victim may have seen Douglas as an easy target because she lived alone.
Investigators found the suspect by tracking his phone and connecting him to the crime scene. He was arrested on Monday, but the press was unable to reach Douglas’ family for comment. The teen is also suspected in a string of other crimes in the neighborhood, including carjackings.
Fox 8 Cleveland reports that Douglas had been dead for three days before her body was found by police.
The suspect appeared in court Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty to the charges of abuse of a corpse, aggravated murder, murder and burglary. Prosecutors plan to have him tried as an adult.
*Photo credit Wadsworth Police Department