GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio - Garfield Heights police need help bringing convicted murderer Marlon Ricks to justice after they said he murdered his girlfriend and wrapped her body in a tarp in the back yard.
It was a cold and windy day back in March when 25-year-old Danielle Coleman's body was found in the backyard of a Grace Avenue home. Coleman’s mother had reported her missing to Oakwood police just days before the discovery.
Garfield Heights police said Coleman’s boyfriend, 41-year-old Ricks, stabbed her to death then left her body behind his sister's house placing teddy bears around her. In fact, it was Ricks’ sister who called 911 to report the possible grave and broken glass.
“I’m calling because I think my brother committed suicide. I think his body is in my backyard,” Ricks' sister told dispatchers. “I pulled up in my driveway and there’s like a lump in the back of my yard. There’s a black tarp over it. My chairs and bench is outside on top of this lump.”
"He was out 11 months and then we found Danielle Coleman in the backyard of the house on Grace and she was stabbed repeatedly," said Garfield Heights Police Det. Pete Stroe.
Stroe said Ricks had just gotten out of prison for shooting and killing his step-father.
"Wrapping him up in a blanket kind of the same way Danielle Coleman was found," Stroe said. "He stuffed him in a closet. They eventually found him and he did 21 years."
According to Stroe, Garfield Heights police and U.S. Marshals haven't had any luck pinpointing the whereabouts of Ricks. He has a long list of crimes he's been accused and convicted of, including drug trafficking, felony assaults, gross sexual imposition and kidnapping.
"We need to find him and make him answer for what he did. We need a phone call. We need somebody to call us, somebody to call the U.S. Marshal Service, something. We need some type of lead," he said.
Stroe said Coleman's mother has grieved for her daughter for months, so he said she deserves closure.
"It's very important and for Danielle Coleman's family they’re not going to let this rest. We're obviously not going to let this rest.," he said.
"He's a very dangerous individual very dangerous," Stroe said.
They said the convicted murderer could be in another state, right here in the Cleveland area living with someone or staying at a local shelter.
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