The disappearance of Sierah Joughin
20-year-old Sierah Joughin was riding her bike with her boyfriend on Tuesday, July 19, when the two parted ways near Evergreen High School in Metamora, Ohio. They continued texting when suddenly, the text message from Joughin just stopped. By evening, it was clear that something had happened to Joughin. Law enforcement searched the area and discovered her purple bicycle near where she was last seen. They also found signs of a struggle.
Suspect James Worley is arrested
Three days later, on Friday July 22, her body was discovered in a shallow grave along County Road 7, not far from where her bicycle was found. That same day, 57-year-old James Worley of Delta, Ohio was arrested on abduction charges. He had plead guilty to an eerily similar abduction crime, one that also involved a female bicyclist, in 1990, and had only served three years in prison for it (the woman escaped, injured but alive). A search of Worley’s truck revealed zip tie restraints and a ski mask.
According to official documents, days later, police searched Worley’s phone records and found that he had allegedly spent two hours in the area of Joughin’s abduction – then spent more time in the area where her body was found. A search warrant for his home was obtained and his three-acre property in the 10600 block of Country Road 6 was searched for additional evidence. What the police found was sickening.
Hidden torture room found on suspect’s property
Police say that inside a barn, in an area concealed by bales of hay, was a secret, hidden room. Inside the room police found bloody walls, duct tape, maps, hidden cameras, masks, restraints “for holding a human against their will” hanging on the walls, and a carpet-lined freezer stained with blood. Inside the secret torture room, they also found several pairs of female panties – at least one of which was bloodied.
Sgt. Matthew Smithmyer of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department believes not only that Worley is responsible for Joughin’s murder, but probably for other missing local young women’s as well. In official case documents, he wrote:
“Worley fits the profile of a serial offender and could potentially have additional victims who could have been kept at his property.”
Investigators say they are now expanding the case in an attempt to determine if Worley is a serial offender.