Convicted sex offender questioned by police in connection with death of Ashtabula teen

ASHTABULA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Pennsylvania State Police say they took a 46-year-old Ashtabula man into custody late Thursday night in connection with the kidnapping and death of a 13-year-old girl.

John Richard Bove was arrested Thursday night after police found the body of 13-year-old Kara Zdancziewski in a field in Saybrook Township, which is just west of Ashtabula.

Kara's parents reported the teen missing Wednesday morning. Her parents said she did not return home Tuesday evening from an outing with Bove.

A search turned up the teen's body. Police also found the suspect's vehicle, stuck in the mud near a wooded area in the 3200 block of Austinburg Road in Saybrook Township.

Police said Bove stayed with a friend Wednesday night in Pennsylvania and he told her some disturbing details. She reported that information to police the next day.

Police said they spotted the stolen vehicle Bove was driving and attempted to run, but was eventually taken into custody near a creek in western Pennsylvania.

"I went to the family and spoke to them and gave them updates as to what was going on. That's the worst part of my job. Words really can't describe it. It's horrible," said Ashtabula City Police Chief Robert Stell.

Bove is a registered sex offender who was convicted of rape and sexual motivation on Oct. 25, 1990.

Police did not say if the family knew of Bove's criminal history.

"It's heartbreaking to think that a potential friend of a family can egregiously kill a 13-year-old innocent girl," said Ashtabula Detective Lt. Joseph Cellitti.

Bove is facing several charges, including fleeing and eluding and failing to register as a convicted sex offender, but he has not formerly been charged with Kara's death. Her body has not been positively identified.

Bove will be extradited from Pennsylvania to Ohio which could take up to several days.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is expected to return to the wooded area to search for more evidence.

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