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Woman killed, teen injured in ‘demonic’ crime

Charged

Gary Stephen Love

Gary Stephen Love

Staff and wire reports

STATESVILLE — A 47-year-old Ohio man has been charged with murder after Robin Denman, 46, was found dead in her Cool Springs house Monday.

Authorities say the man tied up the woman and a teenage girl for days before killing the woman in their home.

Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell told local media outlets Tuesday the two were violently assaulted in what he called a “demonic” crime.

Gary Stephen Love, of Wadsworth, Ohio, is charged with murder and is being held without bond. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

Deputies found the woman dead Monday morning after the 14-year-old texted a friend for help.

Around 7:30 a.m. deputies went to the residence in the 700 block of Cool Springs Road for a welfare check.

Love told officers who came to check on the two that they were at a funeral, then fled out the back door. He was arrested soon afterward.

Deputies searched the house for anyone in need of assistance and found a female’s body hidden inside the home. The victim was positively identified as Robin Denman, according to the news release.

While the home was being secured, other deputies who were responding to assist located a hysterical young girl, who was identified as a14-year-old who also lived at the house.

The teen later told deputies that she ran from the home when she heard someone pull up, not knowing it was deputies, Campbell said.

She told deputies that she had been tied up and held at the home by Love since Christmas Eve. The girl also told deputies that she had not seen Denman since Christmas Eve.

The manner in which Denman was killed is still being determined, but Campbell said it wasn’t a shooting or strangulation, according to the Statesville Record and Landmark. Authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine how the woman died.

The teenage victim was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for injuries consistent with being assaulted, and a rape kit is being analyzed, Campbell said. She has since been released from the hospital and is staying with other family members.

The teen has not been identified. The Associated Press and other media outlets are not identifying her because authorities say they expect to add sexual abuse charges.

The two women lived at the home alone.

Campbell says Love has been in North Carolina for several months. He and the woman knew each other years ago when they lived in New York.

Local media outlets report Love is wanted in Ohio for domestic violence and had a protection order against him.

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