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Published: Monday, 1/14/2013

Mutilated body found in West Toledo

Man arrested and charged with murder of woman

James M. Day James M. Day

A man has been arrested and charged with murder after a caller reported to police Sunday that she had found a woman’s naked, mutilated body inside a West Toledo apartment.

Watson Watson

Police charged the suspect, James M. Day, 66, with murder. His address was not immediately available.

2013 Blade Homicide Report

When the death was initially reported, the caller told a dispatcher, “There was a homicide at this location. [Her] chest is open.”

“Medical and police are both en route,” a dispatcher said.

Moments later, the dispatcher said the caller was “screaming that someone was dead.”

Police were sent to the apartment building, surrounded by businesses on a busy roadway at 3118 W. Sylvania Ave., just before 9:30 a.m.

When they arrived, they found Joan Annette Watson, 49, dead in her second-story apartment.

Police provided few details, but sources said one of the victim’s breasts was cut off and found on a counter and her abdomen was sliced open.

Steve Kahle, a Lucas County coroner’s investigator, declined to discuss specifics, but said, “This is a very graphic homicide.”

He also described it as “disturbing.”

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and this is probably in the top five [most graphic homicides],” Mr. Kahle said.

An autopsy is scheduled today.

An official ruling will not be made until an autopsy is completed, but police were investigating the death as Toledo’s second homicide of 2013.

Bruce Bacon, 62, who has lived in the apartment building since 1998, said he did not hear any ruckus Saturday night or Sunday morning.

He only knew something was wrong when he woke up to see flashing police lights from his first-floor apartment window.

Before the victim was ever identified, Mr. Bacon said he had a feeling it was his building mate, Ms. Watson.

He said Ms. Watson would frequently sit outside her apartment to drink a beer. He described her as a nice neighbor.

After police had been on the scene for about two hours, Mimi White arrived in a light blue car and walked briskly toward a police wagon.

She talked, for a moment, to a patrolman, and screamed.

“No!” she shouted, running back to her car and sitting in the passenger seat.

Mrs. White described Ms. Watson as her aunt.

She saw news reports of a deceased woman at the complex and, knowing Ms. Watson lived there, wanted to make sure she was all right.

Mrs. White said she saw Ms. Watson on Saturday night at a Stop & Go convenience store across the street from the apartment complex. Everything seemed fine, Mrs. White said.

In 2000, Ms. Watson was shot four times in the 2100 block of Auburn Avenue as she fled from someone who was chasing her in a maroon vehicle.

She was shot in her abdomen, buttocks, a thigh, and a foot.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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