Body found in Shade; four facing charges in Athens County


MCSO assists with execution of search warrants

Staff Report



SHADE — The body of Christopher Meadows, who went missing in the early morning hours of July 25, 2018, has been recovered from a five foot grave in Shade, near the Athens-Meigs County line, according to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.

The Athens County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the whereabouts of Meadows since he was reported missing in late July.

According to a news release from Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, Benjamin Cochran and William Milam are accused of kidnapping Christopher Meadows in the early morning hours of July 25, 2018, allegedly under the direction of Ronnie Smith. During the kidnapping, Meadows died, stated Blackbrun.

Milam, Smith, and Cochran allegedly took Meadows’ body, and with the assistance of James Pascol, buried him five feet deep, in the woods, in Shade, Ohio.

The Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Athens Major Crimes Unit, Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification and the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office executed a search warrant to recover Meadows’ body on Sept. 4, 2018.

Following the recovery, a search warrant was executed in Meigs County on the home of Ronald Smith with the assistance of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Athens Major Crimes Unit and the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.

On Sept. 4, 2018, Ronnie Smith, 35, of Darwin Road, Shade, was arrested in Hocking County with the assistance of the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, Hocking County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol on Love Street in Logan, Ohio. Smith has been charged with Kidnapping, a felony of the first degree and Murder, an unclassified felony. Smith is currently being held at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail on a one million-dollar bond.

Also, on Sept. 4, James Pascol, 57, of Shade, was arrested in Shade, Ohio, by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. Pascol has been charged with Abuse of a Corpse and Tampering with Evidence. He is currently being held at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail on a $100,000 with 10 percent permitted bond.

On Sept. 5, William Milam, 32 of Nelsonville, was arrested in Nelsonville, by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. Milam has been charged with Kidnapping, a felony of the first degree and Murder, an unclassified felony. Milam is currently being held at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail on a one million-dollar bond.

Also, on Sept. 5, Ben Cochran, 29, or The Plains, was arrested in The Plains, by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. Cochran has been charged with Kidnapping, a felony of the first degree and Murder, an unclassified felony. Cochran is currently being held at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail on a one million-dollar bond.

This case was investigated by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office with assistance provided by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, Athens Major Crimes Unit, Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, and Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.

Information provided by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.

MCSO assists with execution of search warrants

Staff Report