If you haven’t been following the heart-breaking story of Sierah Joughin these last couple weeks, let me fill you in.
On July 19, 20-year-old University of Toledo student Sierah Joughin was out riding her bike in Metamora, about 20 miles west of Toledo. She was with her boyfriend at first and then the two parted ways. Sierah never made it home and she hasn’t been seen alive since. Her bike was found abandoned in a cornfield and a missing persons report was filed.
57-year-old James Worley was arrested three days later and charged with her abduction. Investigators at the time wouldn’t say what led them to Worley, only that they had “probable cause” to arrest him. Later that night, police said they had found Sierah’s remains in a shallow grave near a rural county road.
The University of Toledo released a statement about Sierah after the discovery was made:
On Tuesday, July 26, Worley was charged with Sierah’s murder.
And today, The Toledo Blade got their hands on search warrants that were executed during the search for Sierah. One revelation is that while searching Worley’s property, investigators found a hidden room in his barn that contained “a carpet-lined freezer with blood in it and restraints for holding people against their will.”
The room was obscured by hay bales and was locked from the outside by a “ratchet strap.”
Also from the Blade:
The warrants also reveal evidence that Worley was a repeat abductor. Worley, the warrant states, told a therapist he was mandated to see by Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge after his previous abduction conviction that he “learned from each abduction he had done and the next one he was going to bury.”
Authorities found several pairs of women’s undergarments on his property.
The search warrants also describe his statements and actions during the time Ms. Joughin was missing.
According to statements in multiple search warrants, cell phone evidence showed he was at the scene where Ms. Joughin’s bike was found for two hours during the time she was missing.
When questioned by investigators, he told them that “he didn’t steal anything or kill anyone,” but had fresh marks on his arms and bruises on his lower legs.
Yes, you read that right. Worley had abducted someone before.
In 1990, he was charged with the abduction of a 26-year-old woman who was riding her bike in western Lucas County. He was convicted in November 1990, and was paroled in December 1993.
He’s been free since 1993. It will be interesting to see how many disappearances and murders will be connected to him.
I’ll keep updating as this case develops.
RIP Sierah Joughin.
– Remains of missing Ohio college student Sierah Joughin believed found; man arrested in case
– Ex-con charged in murder of Ohio college student
– Investigators find hidden room on Joughin suspect’s property
– Sierah’s Facebook Page