For years, Chillicothe, Ohio, was known as just another notch on the
Rust Belt, afflicted by the same old problems of drugs, poverty and
unemployment. If the town ever made national news, it was because a
presidential candidate stopped by vowing to fix things, only for those
promises to evaporate after Election Day.
But in the past couple
of months, Chillicothe has crept back into headlines for something other
than a stump speech. Something much darker. Something evil.
Chillicothe is no longer just another Rust Belt town. Now it’s the place where women go missing and wash up dead.
little over a year, at least six women have disappeared from the town
of only 21,000. Four of their bodies have been found, almost all of them
dumped in creeks or streams flowing away from the town.
women have similar stories. Most of them were hooked on drugs, and
many moonlighted as prostitutes to fund their addictions, police
say. Some of them even knew one another.
The similarities between
the victims and the crime scenes have Chillicothe terrified that a
serial killer is on the loose. Local police, several county sheriffs’
offices and state investigators have banded together to solve the
spiraling murder mystery.
Even FBI analysts are assisting with the investigation, busy compiling a profile of a possible serial killer.
don’t want to come out and say ‘yes, we have a serial killer,’ but it’s
a small community that we live in … and the number of females who have
come up missing, and then the bodies that we’ve found, that’s quite a
bit for our community,” Staff Lt. Mike Preston of the Ross County
Sheriff’s Department told The Washington Post.