COLUMBUS, Ohio (WWJ/AP) - A Fenton couple has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the dismemberment of a 21-year-old Ohio woman.
Police allege that 26-year-old Andrew Forney and his wife, 25-year-old Kandis Forney, both of Fenton, were present when Jessica Rae Sacco was murdered and failed to intervene. Investigators also say the couple helped cut off or transport Sacco’s body parts.
The charges against Andrew Forney include abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, failure to report a crime and possession of criminal tools. The charges against Kandis Forney include obstructing justice, failure to report a crime, possession of criminal tools and complicity to tampering with evidence.
Investigators say Sacco was stabbed, suffocated and dismembered before some of her limbs were dumped in southwest Ohio and Kentucky, about 70 to 85 miles away. Other remains were found in her Urbana, Ohio apartment, which is located about 40 miles northwest of Columbus.
Police believe Sacco’s live-in boyfriend, 25-year-old Matthew Puccio, is the main suspect in her murder. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Another couple indicted in the murder, 37-year-old Christopher Wright and 25-year-old Sharon Cook, both of Urbana, pleaded not guilty to charges including corpse abuse, failure to report a crime and tampering with evidence.
Sacco’s body was discovered in the bathtub of her apartment by the landlord, who was checking on the woman after her worried mother came looking for her. Police believe she was killed around March 22, although they have not discussed a motive.
Police say Sacco moved to the area from California about a year ago and paid $360 per month to stay in the duplex. Puccio moved into the apartment in the fall and shortly thereafter, the Forneys also moved in after meeting Sacco online. Detectives say it wasn’t clear how Puccio and Sacco knew the Ohio couple, Wright and Cook, but all five suspects were only recently acquainted.
“They’re just loose friends,” the police chief said.
Sacco probably died of suffocation, Champaign County coroner Joshua Richards said. A single stab wound to her upper abdomen didn’t penetrate vital organs.
Puccio has said Sacco begged him to kill her after he confronted her about text messages she’d sent saying she wanted him dead. Friends and family of Sacco say they don’t believe that.
Bond was continued for all defendants, who remain in Tri-County Regional Jail in Ohio. The next trial date has not been set.
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