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Investigations Continue: Three Women Found Dead in Seven Days

Saturday, July 27, 2019 @ 12:07 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

venango-womenVENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – Investigations into the deaths of three women found dead in the last week in Venango County are continuing.

(PHOTO: left to right – April Lee, Jessica Bodien, Salina Chilson.)

Police reported that on Friday, July 19, a local woman was found deceased at the Days Inn in Oil City.

Venango County Coroner Christina Rugh told The Derrick the woman was identified as 22-year-old Jessica Bodien, of Oil City and Venus.

Rugh said Bodien died shortly before police arrived at the scene around 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 19, and noted that test results following the autopsy, which was performed earlier this week, could take up to two months.

Oil City Interim Police Chief Dave Ragon said the cause of death has not yet been determined, and police are still investigating.

He noted that if something comes up that could connect the deaths, the different departments investigating each death will work together.

“We usually do work together, if something looks like the same thing or if there’s some commonality,” Ragan told

“Right now we’re still just doing our investigation and waiting for the toxicology report. We’re still looking into all the possible angles.”

Police initiated a second investigation on the morning of Tuesday, July 23, after a woman was found deceased in Franklin.

Venango County Coroner Christina Rugh told The Derrick that the woman was found near Franklin Industries.

Rugh identified the woman as 36-year-old April Lee.

An autopsy was performed at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

According to a representative of the Franklin Police Department, the investigation is ongoing.

The third death was discovered around 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, when Franklin-based State Police responded to a residence on Hillcrest Avenue in Polk Borough to check on the welfare of an individual.

According to police, upon making entry to the residence, officers discovered an unknown female’s body within the living room.

In the release, police indicated that the victim’s name would not be released until positive identification and proper notifications have been made.

However, according to the Butler Eagle, there could be a connection to the disappearance of the Emlenton woman who went missing on July 3 after she reportedly went on a motorcycle ride with an unknown man.

The Butler Eagle reported that an acquaintance of the missing woman identified her as 38-year-old Salina Chilson.

According to the Butler Eagle, the friend stated that Chilson’s male roommate received a visit at 4:00 a.m. on Friday from police and that authorities also asked the roommate for “Chilson’s toothbrush and her hairbrush, so investigators could perform DNA testing on a body they had found.”

According to Chilson’s friend, investigators reportedly asked the roommate if he was familiar with the name “Clayton.”

A neighbor to the Hillcrest Avenue residence told the Butler Eagle on Friday morning that “the friendly neighbor with a Harley Davidson and a canine companion goes by the name ‘Clay.’”

According to the Butler Eagle, police, forensic investigators, and the Venango County Coroner now consider the Hillcrest Avenue house a crime scene.

Several calls to Rugh have not been returned.

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