MANSFIELD - Mansfield police and the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation are searching a downtown vacant building Monday evening in search of evidence related to the death of Mansfield resident Rebekah Leicy, whose body was found March 2015 in rural Ashland County.
Mansfield police Det. Sgt. Ken Carroll said at the scene Monday that he interviewed Shawn Grate earlier in the day and said he was "very cooperative in our follow-up investigation."
When asked what authorities are searching for, Carroll said, "A needle in a haystack."
"He was leading us, he was talking, he was doing a lot of talking," Carroll added about the followup into Leicy's death.
Leicy's body was found in a wooded area off County Road 1908 south of U.S. 30. In June 2015, Ashland County Coroner Dr. Dale Thomae said her death was a result of drug overdose and there was no evidence of traumatic injuries.
Mansfield police Det. Dave Scheurer contacted Leicy's father, Bob, who currently lives in Ashland, on Saturday night, and advised him about his daughter's case being reopened.
Carroll said Grate formerly worked out of the building, which currently is vacant, and the police official added he thought it used to be some type of recreation center.
Grate, 40, is being held on a $1-million bond in the Ashland County Jail on murder charges tied to the deaths of Stacey Stanley, 40, of Greenwich, and Elizabeth Griffith, 29, of Ashland, who both had been reported missing recently. He also is charged with a count of kidnapping in the abduction of another unidentified woman, who called 911 Tuesday morning saying she was being held by Grate in a vacant house on Covert Court in Ashland.
After police apprehended Grate, they reported discovering the bodies of Stanley and Griffith in the house. Grate then allegedly told authorities he had killed another woman and dumped her body behind a burned-out house at 1027 Park Ave. East in Madison Township in June. That body was discovered in the woods about 60 feet from the house.
In early 2015, Leicy's family searched extensively for her. She had last been seen Jan. 22 of that year and was reported missing Feb. 6 by a man who lives on Third Street. Mansfield police searched more than 60 vacant or abandoned houses on Third and Fourth streets looking for her since she frequented that neighborhood.