Ohio woman found dead in septic tank held purse

A woman found dead in a septic tank in southeast Ohio still had her purse on her arm and was killed within 45 minutes after being snatched off a street, an autopsy report said.

The autopsy findings released by the Athens County coroner confirmed a preliminary ruling that Summer Inman, 25, was strangled, the Logan Daily News reported Wednesday. Inman had a "plastic zip tie positioned tightly around" her neck and zip ties around her wrists, according to the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy.

Summer Inman was abducted March 22 near a bank she cleaned in Logan, about 45 miles southeast of Columbus, authorities have said. The body was found seven days later in a septic tank behind the Faith Tabernacle Church just north of Nelsonville in Athens County.

The victim's estranged husband, William A. Inman II, 26, and his parents, William A. Inman, 47, and Sandra K. Inman, 46, were arrested March 24 and charged with the kidnapping. The men later were charged with two counts of aggravated murder and one count each of murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. They have pleaded not guilty.

Sandra Inman, who led authorities to the body, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to kidnapping and abduction charges. A judge has ordered an evaluation of her mental condition.

Police have not provided a motive for the crimes.

Summer Inman filed for divorce last June after six years of marriage, seeking custody of their three children — ages 5, 3 and 1 — and accusing her husband of being cruel and neglectful, according to court records.

She said her husband threatened to kill her if she "took the children from him" and that he had taken her pet cats and killed or abandoned them in retribution for a "perceived offense."

Bryan D. Casto, the forensic pathologist and deputy coroner in Montgomery County who conducted the autopsy, confirmed the preliminary ruling provided by Athens County Coroner Harold Thompson III in late March, the newspaper reported.

Summer Inman did not inhale any sewage into her lungs, which was consistent with her being dead before she was placed in the septic tank, Casto noted. Police said she was abducted about 11 p.m., and Casto placed her time of death at between 11 and 11:45 p.m. He also noted bruises on her "upper and lower extremities."

The Athens County coroner did not immediately return calls Wednesday, and Montgomery County coroner's office does not release information on homicide investigations, Director Ken Betz said. The Hocking County prosecutor's office referred calls seeking the autopsy results to the Hocking County coroner, who was out of state and could not be reached for comment, a woman in his office said.

All three suspects remain in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on $1 million bond.


Information from: Logan Daily News, http://www.logandaily.com