ADAMSVILLE, Ohio – A naked, severely burned woman with a strap around her neck arose from a rural eastern Ohio road, crying in agony, and threw herself toward a passing vehicle in a scene that was "something out of a horror show," the motorist told a newspaper.
The interview with the Times Recorder in Zanesville, which did not name the man in its online story Wednesday, offers graphic detail about what is now a death investigation as detectives try to piece together what happened.
The man said the 29-year-old woman was pleading for help and comfort, and was burned from head to toe, with all her hair gone, when he spotted her Sunday morning in a heavily wooded, lightly traveled area northeast of Zanesville.
"I caught her and picked her up in my arms," he told the newspaper. "I told her I was going to lay her in the grass and knew then that God had put me there for her."
She was screaming that people were trying to kill her, he said, and he initially wondered if it was a joke.
"I looked around to see if anyone else was there, but couldn't see anyone," he said. So he called 911.
The man said he covered the woman with a blanket from his truck and tried to talk with her. He told an emergency dispatcher he was having trouble understanding the woman but she was alert enough to share her name.
He said he offered her some Gatorade and tried to loosen the strap around her neck as she gasped for air. He said they prayed together, and he tried to soothe her.
Because of her wounds, emergency responders had trouble getting her onto a stretcher at the scene. The woman, later identified as Celeste Fronsman of the Canton area, was flown to a Columbus hospital. She died Tuesday.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said investigators have identified several people of interest in the case and have evidence from a location in woods near where the woman was spotted, about an hour's drive from her home. An autopsy also was planned.