Cops: Man beaten to death

Hemlock Avenue murder
Warren police are investigating the beating death of Donald Jones, 56, who was found dead inside his Hemlock Avenue home.

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Police believe a man found inside his Warren home Thursday afternoon was beaten to death.

Police said Donald Jones, 56, of 1003 Hemlock Ave. S.W., was beaten to death with a blunt object. Neighbors called police after they smelled a foul odor coming from the house.

“A week ago, we just got this like really strong smell. We actually thought it was a dead animal, and it just started coming into the house and there was a lot of flies that was coming over here,” said Nathan Cox, who lives next door to the victim.

Cox didn’t think much more of it, until he saw officers putting up crime tape Thursday afternoon.

“To find out it was a body, it’s just weird,” Cox said.

He said Jones was quiet and kept to himself, and the last time neighbors saw him was probably a week ago.

Police said Jones’ body was partially decomposed, but don’t know how long he had been there. Warren Police Lt. Jeff Cole said a quick investigation by the Trumbull County Coroner determined Jones was killed by blunt force trauma, but a complete autopsy is not yet finished.

Warren police said Jones did not have a criminal record except for a few traffic violations. It is unclear if he lived alone.

Residents said the neighborhood is close-knit and they are shocked that someone was found murdered in their home.

Waverly Franklin of Howland grew up across the street from Jones’ house, and has relatives who still live there.

“It’s getting kind of close to home and like I said, there’s some good people and you hate to see something like that happen right in your neighborhood,” Franklin said.”There have been some houses up the street where drug people came in and kind of messed up things. But right around here, I know most of the people around here and they’re good people.”

Jones’ death is the city’s fifth homicide this year, which matches the total for all of last year.

The last homicide in the city was May 20, when police said Jerred Watson, 28, fatally stomped his ex-girlfriend’s father.

George Myers, 57, died of multiple blunt force traumatic injuries, investigators said, in the backyard of his 148 Dickey Ave. N.W. home.

Watson has since been indicted on a murder charge.

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