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By Kelli Wynn

Staff Writer


Authorities are still trying to figure out what led to the death of a missing Eaton woman whose decomposed body was found in Art Van Atta Park on Monday.

Vandalia Police believe Aria Marie Spradling’s body had been in the park for “quite some time,” according to Lt. Dan Swafford. The 20-year-old was reported missing to Eaton Police by her mother Melissa Spradling on Oct. 16.

“She was laying next to a tree that was already knocked down…There was some foliage over the top of her, but it wasn’t like she was buried,” Swafford said.

The cause and manner of death for Spradling has not yet been determined but Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, said right now, it’s labeled suspicious.

“From the beginning, I have known that my baby girl was in need of help and in trouble,” said Spradling’s mother, Melissa Spradling during a Wednesday press conference. She went on to say that she thinks someone killed her daughter.

Aria Spradling left her daughter with her mother on Sept. 29 before going to work and never returned home, according to a police report. The report said, “Melissa Spradling has not heard from her since she called from work on that day,” and “Melissa Spradling said Aria usually calls everyday to check on her daughter.”

Aria Spradling was a dancer at The Harem Gentleman’s Club, 5825 N. Dixie Dr. in Harrison Township and she was last seen at the club, according to Eaton Police Chief Chad DePew.

Police will be reviewing the club’s surveillance camera footage to see if there is anything that will help in their investigation, DePew said.

“There is some speculation that she has had a history of drug use,” DePew said.

Eaton Police are looking into whether Spradling was the same woman mentioned in a Dayton Police report about an incident that occurred Sept. 30 on Germantown Pike. The incident involved what witnesses told police was a possible rape situation involving a naked female and several males.

“What I have been told was that there was a female running naked in the road and three (males) in a minivan pulled her into the van and took off with her and her clothing was apparently left on the street,” DePew said.

Dayton Police were able to get some clothing left behind from that incident, which was handed over to the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab, according to DePew. “They are still working on trying to match that up to see if there is a connection there,” he said.

Anyone with information about the Sept. 30 case or Spradling should contact Eaton Police at (937) 456-6272 or Vandalia Police at 898-5868.

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