Cochenour pleads not guilty to Rebecca Cade’s murder

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WCMH)–It was a murder that rocked a community already reeling from six missing and deceased women.

On October 13, Rebecca Cade’s body was found dangling from a fence on the east side of Chillicothe.

Investigators said Cade was killed by blows to the head and neck.

Donnie Cochenour was charged with one count of murder,  and pleaded not guilty. Investigators said after his arrest he admitted to having an altercation with her.

Assistant Ross County Prosecutor Jeff Marks told Judge Michael Ater, shortly after Cade’s murder Donnie Cochenour arrived at  a witnesses’ home wearing bloody clothes. That witness told investigators Cochenour said he had a fight with Cade, before he stripped off  the bloody clothes and threw them in the trash.

“To beat somebody with a rock, I don’t care who they are, anybody who does that has to be deranged at some point,” said Michael Cade, Rebecca’s father.

Michael Cade, his wife Cindy along with other family and friends came to the Ross County Courthouse to see Cochenour for themselves. They said they were disappointed with the hearing but satisfied with the progress of the case.

Both Rebecca Cade and Cochenour’s families were sitting in the court gallery and had to strain to hear what was going on in the courtroom.  Cochenour pleaded not guilty to murder by close-circuit TV from the jail and no one but the judge could see it.

Cochenour’s mother told NBC4, “In my mind, my son didn’t do it. There was a party in a home near where Cade’s body was found and there were plenty of other people around,” she said.

Both families consoled the other in the hall after Cochenour’s plea.

Rebecca’s cousin Patty Malone said people are commenting on Facebook about their family’s anger.

“Of course we are angry and mad. When we first found out Beca was hanging on that fence, you go through the hurt part, then the anger part – eventually we get to the part where we get to pray,” Malone said.

Cochenour is in the Ross County  Jail being held on $2 million  bond and will be back in court on November 25. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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