Investigators recall Worley property search

By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]

Testimony from the second day of the Sierah Joughin murder trial focused primarily on cataloguing detailed photos from locations of interest visited by investigators.

But authorities also testified about finding Joughin’s gravesite and searching the property of James Worley, her alleged killer.

Fulton County Prosecutor Scott Haselman and several witnesses slogged through mounds of photographs depicting numerous angles and close-ups of the shallow gravesite where Jougin’s body was found, of Joughin’s body, of the cornfield where Joughin’s bicycle and other items belonging to her and Worley were found, and of the north barn on Worley’s property, where a makeshift room and a freezer buried in the floor were discovered.

Photographs also depicted various items found at the barn including an inflatable mattress, disposable diapers, latex gloves, pre-packaged underwear, dresses, cut-off jeans, sex toys, bondage-type restraints and paraphernalia, duct tape, ropes, and toothbrushes and toothpaste. A fairly fresh sandwich with bites taken from it was found in a crate in the barn.

Investigators also photographed a freezer buried in the barn floor, which was lined with carpet and found to be wet.

Some photos displayed suspected blood stains on various confiscated items and on corn stalks.

The photos catalogued included autopsy images of Joughin.

Witnesses on Tuesday included Scott Hudik, a volunteer searcher who discovered a disturbed area of cornfield on County Road 7 between County Roads J and K on July 22, 2016. He said while driving slowly past he noticed a section of corn knocked down in a field and what appeared to be drag marks on the ground.

Hudik left his car to follow the marks and noticed what appeared to be a mound of dirt 20-25 yards into the cornfield and a latex glove lying nearby. He contacted authorities.

Megan Roberts, a crime scene investigator with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, testified that a grave measuring 4 1/2 feet by 3 feet was found at the site. Joughin’s body was inside the grave.

All of the items found with Joughin were displayed to the jury.

Henry County sheriff’s deputy Nicholas Pieracini told the court that authorities at the County Road 7 location “were looking for a gravesite, basically.” He said four feet of corn were missing from the site, and he saw a mound of dirt packed higher than the surrounding area. He said at that time crime scene specialists were called to the scene.

Pieracini said he was also involved in search proceedings on Worley’s property but didn’t collect evidence.

In other testimony, Sgt. Steven Waxler Jr., a member of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and the Multi Area Narcotics Task Force, said he also assisted in searching Worley’s property. He said a search of a barn revealed blacked-out windows, “like it’d been so nobody could see in or out.”

BCI special agent David Hammond said during the investigation into Joughin’s disappearance he was sent to the house of her boyfriend, Joshua Kolasinski. He spoke with Kolasinski and searched his vehicles and bedroom. Hammond took the clothing Kolasinski wore the day Joughin disappeared, as well as coveralls stained with suspected blood that testing later revealed was animal blood from deer hunting.

Hammond also had a truck removed that Kolasinski kept at Joughin’s grandmother’s house. After examining the vehicle, “There was nothing that stood out to me that made me think it was part of her disappearance,” he said.

On July 21, Hammond was assigned to Worley’s property as a silent observer while the defendant was being interviewed by authorities. He said when he and other investigators entered the north barn “Mr. Worley’s reaction to us being in there was a little unsettling or a little alarming.”

When an investigator lifted the lid on the crate found to hold sex toys, lingerie, and other questionable items Worley became upset and ordered the authorities to leave the premises.

The trial continues.

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.