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3 suspects in custody with more arrests expected in 'tortured' death of woman in East Cleveland

East Cleveland Police Chief Scott Gardner says there are three suspects currently at large in the case involving the presumed death of Alishah Pointer.

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — The East Cleveland Police Department provided more information on Wednesday about the disappearance and presumed death of 22-year-old Alishah Pointer. 

Chief Scott Gardner announced on Wednesday that the department arrested Nathaniel Poke, one of the suspects sought in the woman's disappearance, which happened early last week. During a briefing, Gardner added that three suspects are in custody, with three still at large. One of the at-large suspects, Hakeem Ali Shomo, had previously been identified. Gardner says police are withholding the names of the other two suspects for now.

East Cleveland police arrested 17-year-old Destiny Mariah Unique Henderson on Tuesday. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile records show that Henderson is facing 11 counts including murder, aggravated murder, and kidnapping in the events surrounding Pointer's disappearance and presumed death.

Portria Williams and Nathaniel Poke Jr. have also both been arrested, East Cleveland Police confirm. 

Court documents show that Williams has a criminal record, including two counts of felonious assault. 

Family and friends tell 3News' Marisa Saenz that the Poke Jr. was Pointer's boyfriend. 

Credit: Craig Roberson

Late Tuesday afternoon, officials were called to a burned-out home on Savannah Avenue in East Cleveland after receiving a tip that Pointer's body was in the basement of the house. Police confirmed that they did find a Black woman's body, but are waiting for Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office to confirm whether or not it is the missing 22-year-old. 

"We are highly confident that is her [Pointer]," Gardner told 3News on Tuesday.

Pointer first disappeared on November 4 and was reported missing on November 5. 

Gardner says investigators believe that assailants kidnapped an East Cleveland resident and an acquaintance of Pointer in order to lure her from her residence. Police believe Pointer had information relating to a crime committed in Cleveland. He adds that the assailants tortured Pointer and took her to several locations, before finally killing her on Savanna Avenue. 

You can watch Gardner's briefing in the player below:

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