Peebles man charged after unidentified remains found


Authorities say human bone fragments found during the search for a missing woman in southern Ohio have led to a man’s arrest.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the Pike County Sheriff’s Office says 24-year-old Brandon Friend, of Peebles, is charged with corpse abuse and tampering with evidence in connection with the fragments found last week in a burn pile.

Deputies say they can’t determine yet whether the bones are those of 77-year-old Bernice Hayslip, who hasn’t been seen since August 2016.

Authorities say Hayslip’s daughter, Tracy Sowards, is a person of interest in the disappearance. The 44-year-old Peebles woman is charged with misuse of a credit card and receiving stolen property.

The Pike County Sheriff’s Office began their search for the retired Adams County school bus driver after getting a tip from authorities after a traffic stop in Highland County, WSYX reported earlier.

“The suspect began talking about a possible missing person, and that’s when we got involved,” said Deputy William Stansbury of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, according to the station.

Stansbury said cadaver dogs detected something on a Property along Lapperell Road. He said the property is owned by a person of interest in the Hayslip’s case.

Repeated attempts to reach an attorney who represented Friend and Sowards in Pike County Court were unsuccessful.

Bernice Hayslip has been missing since 2016

Staff and wire reports

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