Alleged target of Middletown murder plot: ‘I just started bawling’

Information from the public and surveillance led to the arrest of a Middletown woman for plotting to kill an acquaintance, according to police.

Jody Back, 49, of the 800 block of Fifth Avenue, was arrested Friday afternoon following a traffic stop at Towne Boulevard and Ohio 122 and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, a first-degree felony.

Back is being held in the Middletown City Jail without bond. She is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Middletown Municipal Court.

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A mother and grandmother of six is the alleged target. She spoke to this news organization on Saturday from a location out of town, and this news organization is not naming her because of possible safety concerns.

The woman said she befriended Back when she moved to the city in May 2017.

The friendship became strained during a custody dispute over Back’s child, who was living at the woman’s home. The woman said the child was often at her house, like others in the neighborhood.

In the fall of 2017, Back dropped the child off with clothing for a week’s stay, and the child continued to live with the woman from then on, the woman said. The woman eventually filed for custody of the child.

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Middletown police in April responded to the Back residence on a call related to the custody dispute, according to police records.

“I was told I couldn’t move while it was going through court,” the woman said.

The woman said Back continued to walk past and drive by her house. She said Back peeped in windows and accused her of kidnapping the child.

“I knew something was going to happen,” the woman said.

On Friday afternoon, she received a call from two Middletown detectives, who told her they had to meet with her “right now.”

“I thought it was about this (custody case),” the woman said. “When I go there they said, ‘We have just arrested Jody Back for conspiracy to commit murder. She was having you killed.’”

The woman said he heart sank and her stomach tied in knots.

“I just started bawling,” she said.

Police declined to release any details of the case on Saturday.

Sgt. Malcolm Tipson said a citizen came forward with information about the plot that led to the short investigation and arrest.

“But how do I know she didn’t talk to someone else? How do I know I am safe?” the woman said.

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