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Sister of Ashland victim Stacey Stanley: This guy is 'a monster'

Published: Sep. 15, 2016 at 11:43 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2016 at 11:44 AM EDT
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(Source: Ashland County Pictures)
(Source: Ashland County Pictures)
Stanley's uncle speaks up at news conference (Source: WOIO)
Stanley's uncle speaks up at news conference (Source: WOIO)

ASHLAND, OH (WOIO) - The family of Stacey Stanley is speaking out after the coroner identified her as one of the bodies found in northeast Ohio this week.

The bodies of three women were found in Ashland and Richland counties, with two crime scenes about 11 miles apart.

The Stanley family says Ashland police told them Tuesday night one of the bodies in a home on Covert Court was identified as the missing 43-year-old. Stacey Stanley was a mother and grandmother. Her body was identified by rings and tattoos that family members recognized.

She'd gone missing Sept. 8.

Her family says they knew right away something was terribly wrong, and they continued to knock on doors and hang up fliers.

"Stacey was a sweetheart," said her aunt Marlene Stanley. "She would give you anything she had. She was a kind, kind soul. For what she had to go through, it's heart-wrenching. And as a family member, all of us out here looking for her, she was right there."

Stacey Stanley was identified Wednesday afternoon by the Ashland County Coroner. No cause of death has been determined.

Tuesday's discovery began with a 911 call by a woman found alive in the house Stacey Stanley's body was discovered. Shawn Michael Grate was also in the house. He was arrested and charged with abduction.

He led authorities to the third body in Richland County.

Get latest in police investigation | Slideshow: Grate arrested

Police and agents from BCI gathered evidence from murder scenes at the Ashland home and a burned-out home and woods at Park Avenue West in Mansfield.

Kurtis Stanley is Stacey Stanley's son. He said he had that sinking feeling that his mother was among the bodies found. He and his family said they got little help from police after his mother went missing.

They were very vocal during an Ashland police news conference Tuesday afternoon.

"We just saved that girl's life," said Ronald Stanley, Stacey Stanley's uncle. "My niece's son was banging on that door last night. This guy got rattled. We shook his cage and he got careless. He left his cellphone near where (the woman who was rescued could dial) 911."

Ronald Stanley said family and friends had been looking for his niece since she went missing. Jeana Stanley said her sister didn't deserve to die this way.

"She didn't want to die. She wanted to live. She had a family. She's got grandchildren and boys who miss her and aren't dealing well," said Jeana Stanley. "And this guy who did this to her and these other women? He's a monster."

A Go Fund Me account has been set up to raise $10,000 for the Stacey family.

Stay with Cleveland 19 News for updates.

MORE: Suspect in found bodies case had squatted at Mansfield scene
MORE: 
Ashland police: Missing woman, 2 bodies found at area residence

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