COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Michigan couple authorities say were connected to the killing and dismemberment of an Ohio woman had recently met the victim and her on-again, off-again boyfriend on the Internet and had moved in with them, authorities said.
Remains belonging to Jessica Rae Sacco, 21, were found Friday in her apartment in Urbana in western Ohio. Police say boyfriend Matthew Puccio, 25, stabbed her, placed a bag over her head and suffocated her. She was then dismembered, with some body parts found miles away in Kentucky.
Watching the killing or helping dispose of some of the remains were Andrew Forney, 26, and his wife, Kandis Forney, 25, both of Fenton, Mich., along with a third couple from Urbana, police said.
Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell said Monday that Puccio and Sacco met the Forneys on the Internet, but the police chief wouldn't be more specific. He said the couples had known each other only a short time before the Forneys moved into the Urbana apartment about a month ago.
Lingrell said it wasn't clear how Puccio and Sacco knew the Ohio couple – Christopher Wright, 37, and Sharon Cook, 25, also from Urbana – but all five suspects were only recently acquainted.
"They're just loose friends," the police chief said.
Police would not discuss a motive for the killing, which they believe occurred around March 22.
Police allege the Forneys, Wright and Cook were in the apartment when Sacco was killed but failed to intervene. Police say Puccio and Andrew Forney moved Sacco's body to the bathtub and dismembered it.
The police chief said Sacco, who once took classes at a local college, had been in Urbana about a year after she moved there from California. He said Puccio had only been in Urbana a few months. Both were unemployed.
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 and the Forneys were arrested in Hamilton over the weekend and were being transferred back to Urbana to face charges there.
Puccio was arrested on charges of murder, assault, corpse abuse and tampering with evidence. The Forneys were arrested on numerous charges. The police chief did not know if Puccio or the Forneys had attorneys or whether bail had been set for them.
Wright and Cook were arrested on charges including corpse abuse and tampering with evidence. They were arraigned by video in Urbana Municipal Court on Monday, and bail was set at $50,000 each. Messages left for attorneys representing them were not returned.
Andrew Forney was charged with corpse abuse, obstructing justice, tampering with evidence and complicity to tamper with evidence; Kandis Forney was charged with complicity to tamper with evidence and obstructing justice.
Urbana is about 40 miles northwest of Columbus.
Associated Press reporter Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.