Columbus woman charged with dumping body in western Franklin County

Franklin County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a woman Thursday they say is responsible for dumping the dead body of a woman overdose victim a day earlier in Franklin Township.

Erica Renee Escuadra, 37, of the Far West Side, is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence, said Marc Gofstein, a spokesman with the sheriff’s office.

The body of Jacqueline Powers, 45, was discovered with a blanket over it at 1:42 p.m. Wednesday off the north side of Big Run Road near the intersection of Gantz Road in western Franklin County. Powers’ last known address was in Pickerington.

Escuadra, during an interview with detectives, admitted that she had placed the body along Big Run Road in plain view, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.

Earlier in the day, Escuadra had been with Powers for an extended time at an apartment on South Yale Avenue in Franklinton. Powers used illegal narcotics during their time there, court records state.

Powers was dead in the apartment for approximately two hours but Escuadra did not call for medical assistance, court records show.

Escuadra, who is described as 5-foot-2 and 130 pounds, told investigators she eventually decided to put the body of the 5-foot-7, 150-pound Powers into a vehicle. She then drove to a gas station before driving out to Big Run Road and leaving the body. Escuadra told police she then took unidentified property belonging to Powers back to the apartment on South Yale Avenue and disposed of it, court records state.

A 911 caller did report seeing the body dumped shortly before they called, Gofstein said.

Members of the Heroin Overdose Prevention & Education Task Force are assisting the sheriff’s office in the investigation. The task force investigates overdose deaths with the focus on prosecuting people involved.

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