Woman says she almost became victim of accused Ohio serial killer

The woman says she met Shawn Grate at a party and he asked for her number

Shawn Grate murder investigation

ASHLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – An Ohio woman says she met suspected serial killer Shawn Grate and believes she came very close to being another victim.

Tracy Young, who visited a makeshift memorial Wednesday in Ashland where two bodies were found inside an abandoned house, says Grate also invited her inside the house before he was arrested by police.

Young said she met Grate at a party where she said he asked for her phone number.

Shawn Grate is charged with abducting a woman in Ashland after police rescued her and found three bodies.
This photo provided by Ashland County Sheriff Office shows Shawn M. Grate. Grate, was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Ashland, Ohio in connection to the investigation of a rescued abductee and the discovery of the remains of two people in the home where he was arrested. (Ashland County Sheriff Office /The Times Gazette via AP)

“It looked like he was living there. I said ‘No.’ Something said get your stuff and go home. So, I ran home.” Young said.

Young said she was questioned by Ashland police about her encounter with Grate.

Other women have come forward saying they had contact with the suspect.

Grate is charged with the murders of two women in Ashland whose bodies were uncovered Sept. 13 when a woman who says she was being held captive by Grate managed to escape and call 911.

The woman was found in 2007. She has not been identified. (Source: Marion County Sheriff via WOIO, Cleveland)
The woman was found in 2007. She has not been identified. (Source: Marion County Sheriff via WOIO)

Grate also led investigators to a third body in a wooded area in Mansfield. That victim has not been identified but is believed to be from the Canton area. He also admitted to killing a woman in 2005 who was selling magazines door to door. Her body was found in 2007.

Police say Grate admitted a Marion County woman, depicted in this sketch, was his first victim. (Source: Marion County Sheriff via WOIO, Cleveland)

A fifth body is being investigated in the Mansfield area. The body was recovered previously by authorities. BCI is investigating that area looking for the homicide location site. Sources say the woman is Rebekah Leicy, who was killed in March of 2015.

The Marion County Sheriff believes Grate will be connected to more homicides.

Grate pleaded not guilty earlier this week to murder charges surround the Sept. 13 arrest. He is being held on $1 million bond. No charges have been filed yet in the other cases.

Grate was married at one time and shares a child with Amber Grate. They divorced in 2012.


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