Woman says she almost became victim of accused Ohio serial killer

Shawn Grate, via Ashland County Sheriff's Office
Shawn Grate, via Ashland County Sheriff's Office

ASHLAND, OH (WKBN) – An Ohio woman says she met suspected serial killer Shawn Grate and believes she came very close to being another victim.

Tracy Young, who visited a makeshift memorial Wednesday in Ashland where two bodies were found inside an abandoned house, says Grate also invited her inside the house before he was arrested by police.

Young said she met Grate at a party where she said he asked for her phone number.

“It looked like he was living there. I said ‘No.’ Something said get your stuff and go home. So, I ran home.” Young said.

Young said she was questioned by Ashland police about her encounter with Grate.

Other women have come forward saying they had contact with the suspect.

Grate is charged with the murders of two women in Ashland whose bodies were uncovered Sept. 13 when a woman who says she was being held captive by Gratemanaged to escape and call 911.

Grate also led investigators to a third body in a wooded area in Mansfield. That victim has not been identified but is believed to be from the Canton area. He also admitted to killing a woman in 2005 who was selling magazines door to door. Her body was found in 2007.

A fifth body is being investigated in the Mansfield area. The body was recovered previously by authorities. BCI is investigating that area looking for the homicide location site. Sources say the woman is Rebekah Leicy, who was killed in March of 2015.

The Marion County Sheriff believes Grate will be connected to more homicides.

Grate pleaded not guilty earlier this week to murder charges surround the Sept. 13 arrest. He is being held on $1 million bond. No charges have been filed yet in the other cases.

Grate was married at one time and shares a child with Amber Grate. They divorced in 2012.

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