LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A woman is dead after deputies said she was hit by a man’s vehicle early Saturday in Butler County.
Authorities said they found Rebekah Jo Shaw’s body just off the side of the 5700 block of Cincinnati-Dayton Road shortly after 12:15 a.m.
While investigators have released very few details in what led to Shaw’s death, they said she was riding with 55-year old Thomas Recker Jr. when she was run over late Friday night. Authorities are investigating how she ended up out of the vehicle and in the roadway.
Butler County Coroner Lisa K. Mannix said Shaw died of multiple blunt force traumas.
“There's blood everywhere,” a witness told 911 dispatchers after discovering Shaw’s body while driving home early Saturday. “(We) checked her neck and wrists for a pulse. She's bleeding out of the ears.”
Liberty Township resident Taylor Marguerat said she spotted Shaw’s body from the passenger seat of her boyfriend’s car.
"(My boyfriend) was taking me home and we saw a body on the side of the road,” Marguerat said. “It was crazy. I still can't get the image of it out of my head.”
Deputies later arrested Recker after tracking down his 1999 Chevrolet Silverado they believe was involved in her death.
Recker, a diesel mechanic who resides in Liberty Township, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a crash and aggravated vehicular homicide. He is being held at the Butler County Jail.
An official close to the investigation said Recker and Shaw were acquaintances and knew each other for about two years.
Recker’s neighbors said Monday they couldn’t believe he was arrested.
"I've known Tom for four or five years. He’s a nice guy,” neighbor John Newcomb said. “Kind of kept to himself. I guess strange things happen to good folks.”
James Turley, who lives across the street from Shaw's parents in Wayne Township, said the news of her death was hard to take.
"It's terrible. I really liked the girl,” Turley said. “She used to play with my daughter. She was just like part of the family.”
Authorities said Shaw had an extensive criminal record. She recently served 30 days in the Campbell County Jail for driving on a suspended license. She was also arrested numerous times on drug and felonious assault charges.
Deputies are investigating a bar where they said Recker and Shaw may have been together just before she died.
Recker is set to be arraigned in a Butler County courtroom at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
WCPO web editors Maxim Alter and Jesse Folk contributed to this report.