Authorities detain suspect in Georgia

A Toledo man, charged in connection with the overdose death this year of 28-year-old Danielle Rice of Findlay, has been arrested in Georgia.

Hancock County Sheriff’s Office Detective Fred Smith said Anthony T. Whitiker, 43, was arrested at a community swimming pool in Fairburn, Georgia.

Smith said Whitiker was visiting family in Georgia. Officials believe Whitiker fled northwest Ohio after news of his indictment came out in May.

He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony; corrupting another with drugs, a second-degree felony; abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony; and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

Rice was found dead Feb. 4 alongside a township road northeast of Findlay. The death was initially investigated as a homicide, but Hancock County Coroner Dr. Mark Fox ruled the death an accident due to a fentanyl overdose.

Two others have been charged in connection with Rice’s death.

Desirae M. Bright, 40, of Findlay, has been charged with abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

Dawn M. Jones, 38, of Findlay, was charged with abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony; tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; and permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony. Both are being held in the Hancock County jail.

Whitiker has also been indicted on a rape charge, a first-degree felony, in an unrelated case stemming from a Feb. 22 incident.

Whitiker is being held in the Fulton County jail in Atlanta, awaiting extradition to Ohio, Smith said.

The arrest was made as part of a joint effort by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.



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