Chilling 911 call: 'I've been abducted'

LISTEN ' 911 call of woman who escaped Ashland County abduction

ASHLAND, Ohio -- Two new revelations came Wednesday from the investigation into a case in which a woman was abducted and three people were found dead in Ashland and Richland counties in Ohio. 

The Ashland County coroner identified one of the bodies recovered at 363 Covert Court as being Stacey Stanley, the Greenwich woman who had been missing since last week.

Stanley had not been seen since last Thursday, after she had a flat tire at the BP Station on East Main Street in Ashland. Family members have been critical of the Ashland Police Department and Huron County authorities, saying they did not take reports of their loved one's disappearance seriously until the bodies were found.

Meanwhile, a 911-call released Wednesday by Ashland police reveals the dramatic rescue of a woman who had been held hostage at the same Covert Court address by a man who had a Taser. The victim's name and address was redacted from the lengthy call.

On the call from her captor's cellphone, the woman can be heard whispering to dispatchers, telling them "I've been abducted" and that she was being held hostage in a house near the Fourth Street Laundromat. She said her captor, whom she identified as Shawn Grate, was sleeping.

Early in the 911 call, when it seemed Grate might be waking up, the dispatcher told the woman to put the phone down.

The dispatcher later works to get the victim to an outside door, as the victim whispers and tries not to wake the suspect.

"Can you see them?" the dispatcher said, referring to the police outside.

"Can you get out of the bedroom?" she asked. The victim said the door had no knob.

The victim told the dispatcher she heard the side door open. "Can you get to the door where you can see out? Can you get out of the house? Are you at the door on the right side of the house?" the dispatcher said, telling the officers the victim said to hurry and come back.

"Can you unlock the door at all?" the dispatcher says as the officers' voices can be heard inside the house. "They have her," the dispatcher said.

The call ends with police rescuing the victim and telling Grate, who was still asleep when officers entered,  to get his "hands up."

It is not clear when Grate, 40, who is being held in the Ashland County Jail on an abduction charge in connection with the case, will make his first court appearance.

Ashland County Prosecutor Chris Tunnell said Wednesday he anticipates making a decision Thursday afternoon about potential charges against Grate.

Grate was arrested after the woman at 363 Covert Court in Ashland called police about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday, saying she was being held captive. The kidnapping victim had not been reported as missing.

According to authorities, after Grate was arrested, police searched 363 and 365 Covert Court and found two bodies.

Grate then admitted he killed a woman at 1027 Park Avenue East in June, according to Richland County Prosecutor Bambi Couch Page. Firefighters battled a fire there that partially destroyed the vacant house on June 20.

Also Wednesday, investigators began methodically taking apart  the burned house on Park Avenue East near where one of three bodies was discovered Tuesday.

The Richland County Coroner's Office had called Dennis Dirkmaat, director and forensic anthropologist for the Applied Forensic Sciences Department at Mercyhurst University, Pennsylvania, to assist in the identification of the human remains found there.

Dirkmaat and his team of students were on the scene Wednesday and took the human remains back to Pennsylvania by day's end, Richland County coroner's assistant Bob Ball said.

Richland County Sheriff's Maj. Joe Masi said the sheriff's office and the State Fire Marshal's Office on Wednesday removed evidence from the debris of the house. He said the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation also has completed its work at the Park Avenue East site.

During a brief press conference earlier Wednesday at the Park Avenue East address, Sheriff J. Steve Sheldon said the suspect indicated the method of death of the woman in Richland County, but he and Couch Page declined to release those details pending the ongoing investigation.

Sheldon said Grate was a homeless man who spent time in the Park Avenue East house. The house was abandoned and Sheldon said the man and the woman had spent time in the house.

Sheldon said authorities are trying to recover evidence at the house and near the body, which was found 60 feet into the woods at the back of the property. "We need to properly identify the person. We think we know who it is, but the body needs to be positively identified."

"The body's been here since mid June," Sheldon said.

He said the only bodies he is aware of are the two bodies in Ashland County and the one in Madison Township.

Couch Page and Sheldon are asking that anyone with information regarding the investigation in Richland County contact the sheriff's office immediately at 419-524-2412 or 419-774-5160.


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