An Ohio man who was previously convicted of child pornography woke after a night of drug-taking and he found a naked girl hanging in his basement. What he did after making the horrific discovery is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl.
William Slaton, 35, of Middletown, is charged with felony gross abuse of a corpse, felony tampering with evidence, and misdemeanor failure to report a crime or death. Acting on a tip about a body, officers went to Slaton’s home at 3221 Yankee Road to investigate a report of a woman being inside a barrel there.
The Butler County Coroner’s Office identified the dead woman as 21-year-old Cecily Cornett of Somerville.
When an unnamed woman, living in Slaton’s home, called a relative in Tennessee and shared information with them about Cornett’s death, the relative tipped off the police.
“There is supposed to be a person who died of an overdose three days ago,” the unnamed caller told a 911 dispatcher. “As far as I know, the body is still there that’s what I was told,” the caller continued. “She said somebody overdosed a few days ago and somebody put it in a 55-gallon drum in the backyard.”
When police arrived at Slaton’s house, he quickly went into his backyard and tossed the barrel in question over a fence. He was unsuccessful in disposing of the barrel. Inside police found Cornett’s nude and partially mutilated body covered in blowflies. Slaton was then arrested.
Slaton is accused of murdering Cornett and stuffing her body into a metal barrel at his home, also partially dismembering and mutilating her body to remove identifying marks.
According to police documents, Slaton then hid the fingers and skin in the basement of his home. Slaton said that he allowed the woman’s body to lay in his basement for a few days after she was deceased, before placing her in the barrel in his backyard.
‘Taphaps’ gives us more details of this horrific crime:
Cecily Cornett’s mother, Marilyn Hardy Cornett, called into question the allegation that her daughter died of a drug overdose, insisting that could not be the cause of death. In a Facebook post, she said her daughter was not a drug addict and that the young woman was “loved.” She shared recent as well as many childhood pictures of Cecily, a physically fit former cheerleader who loved fishing and hunting with her “Papaw.”
“For everyone spreading rumors or telling lies……. our daughter Cecily Cornett was not unloved and was not homeless and was not a drug addict,” Marilyn Hardy Cornett wrote in all caps in her post. “She was very loved and 21 …..Some sick evil demon monster took and mutilated her beautiful body for a reason……. and he will pay for it!!!!!”
Others described Cecily Cornett as “bubbly.” Saying she would “be truly missed,” Teresa Sheppard, who’s son went to Preble Shawnee schools with Cornett, fondly shared memories of the young woman. “The memory I will cherish of Cecily was when she came over to pick up a few starter plants of a lilac bush I have,” Sheppard recalled. “It was a present for her grandma. Her smile and bubbly personality would always put a smile on my face.”
Although the cause and manner of Cornett’s death were not disclosed, William Slaton was arrested and charged with gross abuse of a corpse, evidence-tampering, and failure to report a crime or death. He could face additional charges, pending the results of Cornett’s autopsy. His bond was set at $210,000, but this isn’t William Slaton’s first run-in with the law.
William Slaton has a criminal history that is incredibly depraved. He was charged with eight counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance and four counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor in 2011. He pleaded guilty to six child pornography counts and the remainder of the counts were merged, Butler County’s Journal-News reported. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
After serving years behind bars, Slaton was released on supervision through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in May 2018. It’s often said, however, that those who commit sex crimes involving children simply cannot be and are never really rehabilitated. William Slaton seems to prove that to be true. Seven years behind bars simply wasn’t long enough. Monsters like this should never see the light of day again.