A body found in a shallow grave in northeast Ohio was identified Saturday as that of a missing man whose father said answered a Craigslist ad similar to one police say was used in a deadly robbery scheme.
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon. It said Kern died of gunshot wounds to the head.
Kern’s father, Jack Kern, said previously that his son answered an ad for a farmhand similar to the phony ad that authorities say led to the shooting death of Norfolk, Va., resident David Pauley, 51. Pauley’s body was found in a shallow grave in Noble County.
FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson said in an email Saturday that it was too early in the investigation to say whether Kern’s death was linked with Pauley’s.
Meanwhile, authorities say a second body was found in Noble County on Friday hours after Kern’s body was found near the Rolling Acres shopping mall in Akron in Summit County.
Noble County Sheriff Steve Hannum is under a judge’s gag order and can’t comment on the case, but the title of his emailed announcement “second body” implied the discovery was connected with Pauley’s death.
The unidentified body is to undergo an autopsy. The coroner’s office said Saturday it was still coordinating with law enforcement on when the autopsy will take place. Officials declined to comment further, citing the gag order.
Kern was last seen Nov. 13 after driving to Akron for a job he called a “good offer but strange.” His family has said it was out of character for him not to be in touch. They did not immediately return calls Saturday seeking comment.
A South Carolina man also reported answering the Craigslist ad that police say lured Pauley to his death but the man managed to escape after being shot Nov. 6.
Two people from the Akron area are in custody: a high school student who has been charged with attempted murder and 52-year-old Richard Beasley, who is in jail on unrelated charges.
Beasley’s mother previously told the AP that her son has “a very caring heart” and she prays that reports he is a suspect are not true.
She described her son’s relationship with the jailed teen as that of a mentor. She said the teen would sit with the Beasleys at church and her son would take him fishing and to the movies or to play video games, and the two would also deliver food to needy people.
Agents have contacted other individuals to check on their well-being, FBI spokesman Harry Trombitas said Friday in an email.
The farm advertised on Craigslist does not exist; the area where the bodies were found in Noble County is property owned by a coal company and often leased to hunters.