Ex-convict arrested in killing of Ohio woman, 2 children

A man released from prison six months ago was arrested Monday in the killing of a woman he knew and her two young children.

Officers found the bodies of 23-year-old Heather Jackson and her 3-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son Saturday night at their home in Sandusky, a city in northern Ohio that sits along Lake Erie midway between Toledo and Cleveland. A family friend had told police they had not been heard from all day.

Sandusky resident Curtis Clinton, who had known Jackson for about five months, was arrested on charges of aggravated murder, police said. It appears he acted alone, they said without disclosing details of how the woman and her children were killed.

Officers found the 41-year-old Clinton at a hospital in nearby Bellevue on Monday and took him in for questioning, said Lt. John Orzech, interim assistant police chief. He would not say why Clinton was at the hospital.

Clinton was being held at the Erie County jail on Monday and could not be reached for comment. There's no phone listed for his home.

Clinton, who also was charged with rape in a case unrelated to the killings, was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Clinton spent 13 years in prison after pleading guilty in 1999 to involuntary manslaughter in the strangling death of a woman in northwest Ohio's Wood County, about 50 miles from Sandusky.

Two people who knew Jackson told Toledo's The Blade newspaper before the arrest that they believed her death was drug-related. Amanda Thoren told the newspaper that Jackson was living out of her car and her children were staying with relatives before she moved into the house.

"She didn't keep good company," Thoren said. "She had a problem, but that never stopped her from being kind."