Police: Man accused of hiding body in barrel said he found woman hanging in basement

A Middletown man facing felony charges after a woman’s body was found in a barrel he allegedly threw into a neighboring yard told detectives he found the victim hanging in the basement of his Yankee Road home.

Police were called around 1 p.m. Tuesday to a residence in the 3200 block of Yankee Road to investigate a tip about a dead woman in a barrel on the property. When police knocked on the door and told William Slaton, 35, about the complaint, he refused to let officers inside. He went back into the house, ran out the back and dumped the barrel over a fence into a neighbor’s yard, Middletown police Maj. Scott Reeve said.

When officers opened the barrel, they found a nude woman’s body.

MORE: Woman’s body found inside barrel in Middletown; man jailed

During an interview with detectives, Slaton admitted to being in the house with the victim and said after using drugs, he woke up and found her hanging, according to Middletown Municipal Court documents.

“Mr. (Slaton) stated he then used a sharp object to cut off all the victim’s fingers. He then used a razor knife to cut off all the victim’s tattoos on her body,” according to the complaint written by detective Ken Mynhier.

Slaton said he put the pieces of her body in a sealed bowl and hid the fingers and skin in the basement, according to the complaint. He allowed the woman’s body to lay in the basement for a few days before he placed her in the drum in the backyard.

When police searched Slaton’s residence, they found the plastic bowl.

A woman who lived in Slaton’s house called a relative to share information about the woman’s death, and that person, who lives out of state, called police.

“There is supposed to be a person who died of an overdose three day ago at (3200 block of) Yankee Road. As far as I know the body is still there that’s what I was told,” the caller told the 911 dispatcher on Tuesday. “She said somebody overdosed a few days ago and somebody put it in a 55-gallon drum in the backyard.”

MORE: Bond set for Middletown man after woman’s body found inside barrel

Bond was set at $210,000 on Wednesday for Slaton. He is charged with gross abuse of a corpse, failure to report a crime or death and tampering with evidence, police said. More charges are possible once the autopsy is complete and the case is reviewed by the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office, said Reeve. He is scheduled to be back in court July 8 for a preliminary hearing.

An autopsy has been performed at the Butler County Coroner’s Office and on Friday no information on her identity or cause of death had been released.

MORE: 48 people indicted in Butler, Warren counties

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