Report: 2 women linked to Ashland murder suspect were strangled

Police found two bodies in an Ashland home in September, one near Mansfield in June and another near Marion in 2007

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)

ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) – Autopsy reports indicate that two women believed to be victims of a jailed Ohio murder suspect were strangled and found with clothing around their necks.

WEWS-TV reports autopsy information was released Wednesday for two bodies found at an Ashland home in September after another woman called 911 and said she’d been held captive there.

Police arrested Shawn Grate, who’s also accused of raping the 911 caller.

The 40-year-old Grate is pursuing an insanity defense. A competency hearing is scheduled Friday. A judge’s order blocks his attorneys from publicly commenting on the case.

Investigators said Grate admitted killing at least two other women. Those bodies were found near Marion in 2007 and near Mansfield in June.

Police also were investigating whether he’s connected to a fifth body, in Ashland County.

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