WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Police in Ashtabula are working to determine if a body found in a shallow grave is a woman who’s been missing for over a week.
There are hundreds of missing adults listed on the Ohio Attorney General’s missing person’s web page, including 18 from Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana Counties. The oldest case goes back to December of 1974: A missing woman from Youngstown.
Alesha Bell, 18, from Warren is the second name on the Ohio Attorney General’s web page for missing adults.
Bell’s mom talked with First News just days after her daughter went missing, expressing her desire to see her daughter brought home.
Last week, investigators found humans remains at a raid at James Brooks’ property in Ashtabula. During that raid, they arrested Brooks, then learned he knows Bell. Bell’s family is waiting to hear if the remains are Bell’s, as are Warren Police.
Warren Police Lieutenant Jeff Cole said that when someone comes into the station saying he or she hasn’t seen a loved one in a few days, officers check the hospital and jail first, before starting a missing person’s report.
Once the report is filed, it’s entered into the National Crime Information Center and goes to the Attorney General’s web site.
“We depend a lot on the public to help us in solving crimes, but we also depend on the public to help us find people,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.
Law enforcement pays special attention to unusual circumstances in these cases, such as, “Someone with children who you wouldn’t think would leave their children, just unexplained, left suddenly,” Cole said.
The AG’s office does help police departments with investigations,- something Warren Police say is another resource to help find a person.
“They’ve been great, on one specific case, Timothy Six, he was reported missing a couple years ago, and I know the state helped out a lot,” Cole said. There were other organizations that participated in the investigation, getting dental records, things like that.
DeWine said investigators in his office keep a close eye on a missing person’s social media account.
A missing person is sometimes active on social media, letting investigators know they are out there.
But in some cases, according to DeWine, a person simply doesn’t want to be found.