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3 face charges in murder, dismemberment of ex-girlfriend

• Sep 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM

YOUNGSTOWN — New charges have been filed against three people accused of operating a criminal enterprise in an attempt to cover up the murder and dismemberment of a Youngstown woman.

A special prosecutor with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s special prosecutions section presented new evidence to a Mahoning County grand jury regarding the murder of Shannon Graves, 28, whose remains were found in a freezer in July 2017.

"The measures that this group allegedly took to cover up this gruesome homicide are incomprehensible," said DeWine. "These three defendants are accused of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity in an attempt to mislead authorities and conceal their atrocious crimes."

Arturo Novoa, 32, of Youngstown, who was previously arrested and charged with Graves' murder, is now facing the following 44 charges:

• Aggravated murder, one count

• Murder, one count

• Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, one count

• Tampering with evidence, 24 counts

• Abuse of a corpse, six counts

• Possession of criminal tools, three counts

• Theft of WIC program benefits, three counts

• Grand theft of a motor vehicle, one count

• Trafficking in drugs, four counts

According to the indictment, Novoa, who is Graves' former boyfriend, reportedly murdered the victim in February or March 2017. He is accused of dismembering her body, concealing her limbs in a freezer, and further mutilating the rest of her remains.

Andrew Herrmann, 27, of Youngstown, allegedly helped Novoa dismember the victim's body, move her remains, and destroy personal items belonging to the victim. Herrmann was arrested this afternoon and is now charged with 14 counts — 12 of tampering with evidence and one count each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and abuse of a corpse.

Herrmann's wife, Michelle Ihlenfeld, 26, of Youngstown, is accused of making threats and obstructing the investigation into the homicide and cover-up of Graves' death. Ihlenfeld was arrested this afternoon and is now charged with the four counts — one count each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and obstruction of justice and two counts of intimidation.

A search warrant also was served at the home of Herrmann and Ihlenfeld.

The case remains under investigation by the Youngstown Police Department.

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