April 6, 2012
COLUMBUS — The live-in boyfriend of a western Ohio woman whose dismembered remains were found in her bathtub has been indicted on aggravated murder and other charges.
The Champaign County grand jury indicted Matthew Puccio and four others Thursday on charges related to the March death of 21-year-old Jessica Rae Sacco.
Andrew and Kandace Forney of Fenton, Mich., and Christopher Wright and Sharon Cook of Urbana, Ohio, also were indicted in the case. Police say they stood by and did nothing as Sacco was killed and helped Puccio cut off or transport limbs.
Puccio, 25, is accused of stabbing Sacco, placing a plastic bag over her head to suffocate her and dismembering her in their Urbana duplex apartment. Police say some of her limbs were dumped in southwest Ohio and Kentucky, about 70 to 85 miles away. Her landlord found other remains in the bathtub on March 30, eight days after authorities believe she died.
Puccio could face up to life in prison if convicted.
The suspects appeared briefly Friday in court, where a judge said they would receive court-appointed attorneys; a new hearing was set for Tuesday. Puccio was initially being held in the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg on $100,000 bond. The others were being held at the jail on bonds of $50,000 each.
Their attorneys did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment.
Puccio has said Sacco begged him to kill her after he confronted her about text messages she’d sent saying she wanted him dead.
Sacco had lived in California in recent years. Puccio said they had been together for about a year and a half and that the relationship started going sour about two months ago.
Along with aggravated murder charges, Puccio faces charges of felonious assault, felony gross abuse of a corpse and misdemeanor abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and possession of criminal tools.
Andrew Forney, 26, is charged with gross abuse of a corpse and abuse of a corpse, tampering with and complicity to tamper with evidence, obstructing justice, failure to report a crime and possession of criminal tools. His wife, 25, is charged with obstructing justice, failure to report a crime, possession of criminal tools and complicity to tampering with evidence.
Wright, 37, is charged with gross abuse of a corpse and abuse of corpse, tampering with evidence, obstructing justice and failure to report a crime.
Cook, 25, is charged with failure to report a crime, complicity to gross abuse of a corpse and to abuse of a corpse, complicity to tampering with evidence and complicity to obstructing justice.
Urbana police Chief Matt Lingrell has said Puccio and Sacco recently met the Forneys online and that the members of the group were “loose friends.”
Investigators haven’t commented on a motive for the killing.