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Medical examiner identifies dismembered body found burning in Cleveland

Body on fire.jpg
Posted at 10:41 AM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 12:44:09-05

CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has identified the dismembered body found burning near railroad tracks in Cleveland’s South Collinwood neighborhood on Feb. 19.

The body was identified as Benette R. Smith, 54 formerly of Painesville. Her death is being investigated as a suspected homicide, according to the medical examiner. Her last known residence was in Cleveland, and the last time she had a Painesville address was in 2004, according to city officials. In an earlier version of this story, the medical examiner identified her as a Painesville woman.

Firefighters were initially called to the area of Clermont and Larchmont Road around 4:20 a.m. on Feb. 18 morning to put out a brush fire. When they arrived, investigators say they found a dismembered body burning.

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Police responding to fire at Larchmont and Clermont.

Days after the body was discovered, people in the surrounding neighborhood said the alley that runs back to the railroad tracks near where the body was discovered is frequently used for illegal dumping.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Cleveland police.

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