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Parma man pleads guilty to murder of North Royalton woman found dead in landfill in June

Posted at 4:50 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 16:55:19-04

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio — Nearly one year after a 50-year-old North Royalton woman was found dead in a landfill in Geneva, the Parma man arrested for her death pleaded guilty to charges including murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

On Monday, 51-year-old Richard Muncie pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse and was sentenced to life in prison with the first eligibility of parole after 30 years.

The body of Cari Smith was found in a Geneva landfill on June 25 as an investigation into her disappearance by North Royalton detectives led them to conduct a traffic stop on Muncie, who was driving Smith’s car, near Chardon.

Muncie claimed to be Smith's boyfriend. The deputy advised that they saw a bloodstain on Muncie's shorts and bloodstains in the trunk of Smith's vehicle. Smith's purse was also in the vehicle.

They believe Muncie dumped Smith's body, wrapped in blankets from her bedroom, in a dumpster in Fairport Harbor.

“Discoveries in the vehicle were also consistent with the body having been transported from North Royalton to Fairport Harbor, by the subject in the victim's vehicle, where it appeared the body was initially dumped before being taken to the landfill,” police said. “It also appeared that the victim likely was killed in her home and all facets of the death had occurred on this day.”

North Royalton police said that it appeared the victim was killed by blunt force.

The investigation revealed that Smith and Muncie knew each other, but they were not living together.

“Recent complaints and reports had suggested a strained relationship,” North Royalton police said last June.

RELATED: Police: Man who was in ‘strained relationship’ with woman found dead in landfill charged with her murder

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