A woman found dead in a dumpster at a Kettering apartment complex was stabbed multiple times, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Tuesday, and her friends say they are heartbroken about her death and the way she was found.
Sierra Woodfork, 24, was pronounced dead Saturday, and the cause of death was multiple stab wounds, the coroner’s office said Tuesday. Kettering police arrested Terrel Ross in connection to the woman’s death.
Ross was arrested on his 37th birthday Sunday at a men’s shelter in Dayton on suspicion of murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Ross is incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail.
On Saturday, a few hours before Kettering officers were alerted that the body was found in a dumpster, Ross posted on his Facebook page, asking for friends to celebrate his birthday with him.
“I ain’t really celebrated a birthday in a long time,” he said. “Tomorrow, I’m changing all that …”
He then quoted rap artist Twista by saying, “Make a toast to yourself, for surviving in a world that’s so corrupt.”
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A number of friends commented with interest in celebrating his birthday.
Woodfork’s friend, Shannon Longstreath, said that Ross was abusive to Woodfork and a relationship between them ended several months ago.
“He was the type of person that he was very jealous that she wanted to move on and do what she wanted to do,” Longstreath said. “He was a stalker.”
Longstreath said her friend’s death hurts.
“She didn’t deserve that, she didn’t deserve to be thrown in the trash,” Longstreath said. “It’s sad that he just wrapped her up and threw her away.”
Ross’ cousin and Woodfork’s ex-boyfriend Brandon Harris said this of Woodfork: “She was a sweet girl and that didn’t have to happen to her the way it did.”
Formal charges were filed Tuesday against Ross, according to Kettering Municipal Court records. His arraignment is Wednesday morning.
Woodfork was found in a dumpster behind her apartment complex on Aberdeen Avenue.
Kettering Police spokesman Joe Ferrell said, “It was certainly a violent crime.”
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A man called 911 after he said he through the dumpster and found a body, Ferrell said.
“I’m dumpster diving and there’s a body,” the man told dispatchers in a 911 call. The call prompted a large police response that resulted in Woodfork’s body being recovered.
After calling 911, the man flagged down an Oakwood cruiser passing by. The Oakwood officer secured the scene by placing yellow police tape around the apartment building and remained there for about 20 minutes while Kettering police arrived and set up.
Ross was arrested just before 8 p.m. Sunday at the St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter for Men in Dayton at 1921 S. Gettysburg Ave., jail records show.
Ross was in the process of checking into the shelter when officers detained him, according to Michael Vanderburgh of St. Vincent dePaul.
“Our records indicate that he had never been a shelter guest before,” Vanderburgh said.
Woodfork’s death is the first homicide investigation in Kettering this year. In 2019, they had one homicide case, Ferrell said.
“(It’s) not very common, but obviously violent crimes happen anywhere and everywhere,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate that it happened here in Kettering in January. The good thing is there’s a lot of hard work and teamwork by our detective section and they were able to quickly find the suspect and have him in custody.”
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