Hours after making birthday plans, man arrested in Kettering woman’s death

Terrel Ross
Terrel Ross



Kettering police arrested a man on his birthday in connection to the death of a woman whose body was found inside a dumpster at her apartment complex over the weekend.

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Terrel Ross was arrested on his 37th birthday Sunday on suspicion of murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. He is currently incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail.

A few hours before Kettering officers were alerted Saturday that 24-year-old Sierra Woodfork was found dead in a dumpster, Ross posted on his Facebook page, asking for friends to celebrate his birthday with him.

>> PHOTOS: Police investigate after body found in dumpster in Kettering

“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.”

A number of friends commented with interest in celebrating his birthday.

Formal charges had not been filed against Ross on Monday afternoon, according to Kettering Municipal Court records.

While a motive isn’t clear, Kettering Police Lt. Joe Ferrell said Woodfork death “was not random.” And while police said the relationship between Ross and Woodfork isn’t clear, the two knew each other.

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“I don’t know if they were friends or more than that,” said Ferrell. “I’m sure more of that will come out later this week.”

Woodfork was found in a dumpster behind her apartment complex on Aberdeen Avenue.

A cause and manner of death have not been determined by the coroner’s office at this time, but 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.

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.

“Whether he had been staying with her and had no place to live, or whether he was hiding out there (at the shelter), I just don’t know,” Ferrell said.

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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.”

Ferrell said police are continuing to investigate the case.