Couple formally charged for chopping ex-girlfriend up, storing her in freezer: Prosecutor

An Ohio man and woman are facing murder charges after they allegedly hid a deceased woman in a freezer after chopping her body up. They were formally indicted in a Mahoning County courtroom on Thursday.

WKBN reports that a Mahoning County grand jury indicted Arturo Novoa (pictured center), 31, and Katrina Layton (pictured right), 34, both of Mahoning Avenue, for the murder of Shannon Elizabeth Graves (pictured left). Authorities found Graves deceased with her body parts chopped up in a padlocked freezer, located inside the home of one of Novoa’s friends in Campbell.

Graves, who dated and lived with Novoa in a Mahoning Avenue apartment, died at some point between Feb. 24 and March 1. Novoa’s friend, Kenneth Eshenbaugh, said his wife found Graves’ remains in the padlocked freezer after somehow opening it one evening while preparing dinner, hoping she could find some ground meat to go with her spaghetti. Police indicated that the friend is not a suspect and is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Meanwhile, Layton seemingly took over Grave’s life once she disappeared. Prosecutors said the suspect moved in with Novoa and allegedly started using Grave’s cellphone and driving her car. Layton is also accused of being the one that purchased the freezer the Graves was stored in, according to WFMJ.

Further, prosecutors also alleged that the couple killed Grave with “prior calculation and design.”

Graves’ sister told WFMJ that she’s thankful justice is being served for her sister. She said that many missing people are never found and that her sister’s case is moving forward by “the grace of God.”

Both suspects face charges of  aggravated murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. So far, prosecutors haven’t figured out exact cause of death. They indicated that a critical body part was missing from the victim, but so far, it’s unclear which one.

[Feature Photo: Police Handout]