Authorities said Novoa told his friend that he couldn’t keep the freezer at his place because his power was off. The friend grew suspicious because the freezer was padlocked. He and his wife popped it open over the weekend and found a corpse inside, CBS News reported.
Authorities identified the body as 28-year-old Shannon Graves, Novoa’s former girlfriend, who was reported as missing several months ago, according to WKBN 27. A cause of death has not been released.
Both Novoa, 31, and Layton, 34, of Ohio were charged with abuse of a corpse. Layton was also charged with obstructing justice. They both remain in jail, and bond has been set at $1 million each. It is unclear if they have entered a plea.
“No one was charged with a murder because we have no idea what the cause of death was,” Youngstown Police Lt. Doug Bobovnik told WKBN.
Authorities also claim that Layton began living Graves’s life after she disappeared. While she didn’t assume the identity of the missing woman, Layton allegedly lived in her home with Novoa and used her belongings as if they were her own.
“Basically, Miss Layton moved in with Mr. Novoa and started living her life,” Youngstown Prosecutor Dana Lantz said at a news conference, according to People. “She didn’t hold herself out to be Shannon, she just lived her life, using her phone, caring for her dog.”
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