Man Stores Dead Girlfriend's Body In Freezer, New Woman Assumes Her Identity

Arturo Novoa and Katrina Layton

Youngstown police arrested 31-year-old Arturo Novoa on Saturday (29 July) on a warrant for abuse of a corpse.

A woman's body was found last weekend at a home in Campbell, east OH, and is thought to be that of missing woman Shannon Graves, 28.

Investigators believe it is Graves' body that was stashed in freezer, but the Cuyahoga County medical examiner has not yet confirmed the corpse's identity and cause of death, the prosecutor's office said.

Arturo Novoa, 31, and Katrina Layton, 34, both appeared before a judge Monday and had bonds set at $1 million each, according to Reuters. Layton was also charged with obstructing justice, reported WFMJ.

He said Youngstown Police are investigating the case because they believe "it originated in the city of Youngstown and was taken to Campbell". The friend became suspicious, discovered the remains and called authorities.

Layton then took on Graves' identity by using the dead woman's credit cards and cell phone, driving her vehicle and caring for her dog. Evidence that supported this presumption included Novoa being caught using Graves' auto and Graves' cell phone being in possession of Novoa's new live-in girlfriend, Layton.

Authorities said no murder charges have been filed because a cause of death has not yet been determined.

Graves' sister, Debbie, said Graves dated Novoa and lived with him in a flat in Youngstown's west side. She was listed as missing on the OH attorney general's website.

"Basically, assumed her life and her belongings", Lantz said. Although she claimed to not have knowledge of the original freezer's relocation to Eshenbaugh's home, the report claims "further investigation revealed that not only did Layton pay for the freezer, but she knew that it was taken to" Eshenbaugh's basement.

According to police, Layton bought the fridge where the body was placed.

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