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Man accused of killing girlfriend in Williamsburg, living with body for weeks

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 4:08 PM EST
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WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A missing person case has turned into a homicide investigation.

Monday, police arrested 58-year-old John Meadows on charges of murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird says when officers searched Meadows’ apartment on February 1, they found human remains inside a trash can. He says Meadows had been living there with those remains for around three weeks.

The remains are thought to be of Meadows’ girlfriend, Donna Lay, who was reported missing on January 27.

“When we started looking into it and we interviewed the boyfriend, his story just didn’t add up,” Chief Bird said.

Police learned Meadows was searching the internet for information on how a body decomposes and had supplies to try to disguise the odor.

Monica Lynn Hartman lives in the same apartment complex. She says she ran into Meadows just the other week and described him as happy go lucky. As for Lay, she said she’d never seen her.

“I’d never even seen her, as I said, though. I stay in my apartment, and I’m glad I do,” Hartman said. “I’m glad I’ve never let my kids out the door to play out here because I mean, you never know, if he’d do that to her he’d do that to someone else in a heartbeat.”

Police have not been able to make a positive ID as they’ve been unable to contact Lay’s family.

The Williamsburg Police Department is asking for anyone with any information to come forward.

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