Exterior of Ashtabula County Medical Center is shown on Saturday,...

Exterior of Ashtabula County Medical Center is shown on Saturday, March 9, 2024 in Ashtabula, Ohio. Two women have been accused of driving the body of a deceased 80-year-old man to a bank to withdraw money from his account before dropping his body off at the hospital. Credit: AP

ASHTABULA, Ohio — Two Ohio women have been accused of driving the body of a deceased 80-year-old man to a bank to withdraw money from his account before dropping his body off at a hospital.

Karen Casbohm, 63, and Loreen Bea Feralo, 55, were charged Tuesday in Ashtabula with gross abuse of a corpse and theft from a person in a protected class, according to Ashtabula Municipal Court records.

Police said they were called Monday evening and told that two women had dropped off a body at the Ashtabula County Medical Center emergency room without identifying the person or themselves. A few hours later, one of them contacted the hospital with information on the deceased, who was then identified as 80-year-old Douglas Layman of Ashtabula.

Officers responded to Layman’s residence and made contact with Casbohm and Feralo, who told them they had found Layman deceased earlier at the home where all three resided. Police allege that, with the help of a third unnamed person, they placed Layman in the front seat of his car and drove to a bank where they withdrew “an undisclosed amount of money” from his account.

Layman's body “was placed in the vehicle in such a manner that he would be visible to bank staff in order to make the withdrawal,” Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell said in a news release Thursday. Stell told the (Ashtabula) Star Beacon that the bank ”had allowed this previously as long as they were accompanied by him.”

Lt. Mike Palinkas told WEWS-TV that one of the women had been in a live-in relationship with Layman for several years while the other had been staying there for a few months. The women said it was normal for them to take money from the account, but Palinkas said he didn't have a full explanation for why they went there that day.

“Allegedly, they wanted to pay some bills but outside of that, there wasn’t a specific motivation provided,” Palinkas said.

Casbohm was arraigned and ordered held on $5,000 bond while Feralo is scheduled for arraignment next week. It's unclear whether they have attorneys; numbers listed in their names had been disconnected. A message was sent to the county public defender's office seeking comment if the office was defending one or both.

Police said they continue to investigate and other charges are possible. The coroner's office said an autopsy to determine the cause of Layman's death could take up to eight months.

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