Police charge man with murdering Youngstown woman found after fire

Lance Hundley is the suspect in the murder of Erica Huff. Hundley was charged with attempted murder.
Lance Hundley is the suspect in the murder of Erica Huff. Hundley was charged with attempted murder.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown police charged a man with murder in connection to the death of a woman on the city’s south side early Friday morning.

Police charged Lance Hundley, 46, of Warren with murdering 41-year-old Erica Huff.

Crews were originally called about 3 a.m. to a house on Cleveland Street on reports of fire, but when they arrived, they found Huff beaten to death and her mother injured. There was also heavy smoke coming from the Cleveland Street house.

Lieutenant Doug Bobovnyik said Hundley went to the house and beat Huff, leaving her unconscious. The victim’s mother came later after her daughter’s medic alert alarm went off and encountered Hundley and was assaulted. Bobovnyik said that is when Hundley set fire to the house and tried to leave as police were arriving.

“They realized the second victim was deceased. They also found a third person inside the house, which was heavily engulfed in smoke,” Bobovnyik said.

Hundley and Huff’s mother were taken to the hospital.

According to police, Huff was bedridden because she suffered from multiple sclerosis. One of the last people to see her alive was her caretaker Latonia McCrae. She was at Huff’s house on Thursday.

“Erika just seemed very happy. Everything was good, and I came and did what I had to do for her. She was fine and I left,” she said.

Huff worked for the Mahoning County Clerk of Courts before retiring last month. Deputy Mahoning County Clerk Kathy Welsh said Huff was a joy to have in the office.

“She was truly a kind person. She always had a smile and was very pleasant. She was a beloved employee,” Welsh said.

Huff’s mother remains in stable condition at a local hospital.

Hundley was charged with attempted murder and is expected to appear in court early next week.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the status of the two women who police reportedly found at the house. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

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