Justin Earley (on right in photo), a 22-year-old gay college student from the northeastern Ohio town of Alliance, was allegedly murdered last month after responding to an online hookup ad. A 34-year-old sex offender named John R. Fox (left) has been charged with Earley's murder.
Queerty's Matthew Tharrett reports:
According to reports, Earley's friends grew suspicious and filed a missing persons report when he failed to return home after meeting John R. Fox on December 29, via the classifieds section of Backpage.com. Alliance police Detective Lt. John Jenkins confirmed that Earley had posted ads on the website as "Tyler," a "second-year college student... looking for men to have a good time with." Both ads included his phone number.
Police say Fox also posted a similar ad on Craigslist soliciting men to come to his apartment that same day. Though the details of their meeting and Earley's official cause of death have not yet been released, police have confirmed that Fox killed Earley on the night they met and stored his body in the closet of his Portage County apartment. Police discovered the body three weeks later, wrapped in a comforter and "quite decomposed" following an investigation and their acquisition of a search warrant.