The body found in a shallow grave by a Summit County mall is that of a Jackson Township man who responded to a Craigslist job listing earlier this month, the Summit County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed Saturday.
Confirming a Stark County family’s worst fears, the Summit County Medical Examiner’s office Saturday identified the body of a man discovered Friday in a shallow grave by Rolling Acres Mall in Akron as that of 47-year-old Timothy Kern of Jackson Township.
The office, which performed an autopsy of the body Saturday morning, said Kern died due to gunshot wounds to the head. The case is being investigated as a homicide.
“It’s the worst thing. I wouldn’t want to wish this on anyone,” said Kern’s second ex-wife, Tina Kern, who had two sons with Timothy Kern. “It’s the type of thing we watch on TV, and watching these stories unfolding, you never thought it would happen to you in a million years.”
Timothy Kern was last seen alive Nov. 13 after he told family members that he had accepted a job he had learned of on the website Craigslist in which he would watch over 680 acres of remote farmland in Noble County. He was set that day to meet his employer, who would pick him up in Plain Township and take him to Noble County.
His family became alarmed when he failed to call them a couple of days later.
Timothy Kern responded to the same Craigslist job listing that has been linked to the death of a Virginia man and the shooting of a South Carolina man, who reportedly has family in the Canton area. Noble County authorities reported Friday finding the unidentified body of a white man in a shallow grave but have not yet confirmed whether that death is related to the Craigslist posting.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va., applied for the position advertised on Craigslist. His family last received an email from him on Oct. 22. Family members told the Dispatch that his body was later found in a “pre-dug” grave in Noble County. He had been shot in the back of the head.
The Dispatch cited a sheriff’s report that said a South Carolina man, Scott W. Davis, 48, told a deputy that on Nov. 6, while two people were bringing him to the Noble County job described in the Craigslist ad, one of them shot him in the arm. He managed to escape and get help. The Dispatch said Davis provided the address of his mother in the Canton area as his address.
The Dispatch said authorities have arrested a 16-year-old boy from Stow on a charge related to the shooting of the South Carolina man. Another suspect, a 52-year-old Akron man, identified by the Dispatch and The Associated Press as Richard Beasley, has been jailed on charges not related to the shootings.
Tina Kern said she and her two sons, ages 18 and 17, during the last two weeks had to deal with the likelihood that her ex-husband and their father was dead. An FBI agent delivered the news to them that the body was Timothy Kern’s during a meeting Saturday morning.
Page 2 of 2 - “We prayed for closure, I can tell you that,” Tina Kern said. “He’s been missing now for two weeks. So this wasn’t a new, shocking news story to me and his kids.”
She said the family, which has not yet selected a funeral home, planned to hold public funeral services for her ex-husband.
“There’s many people that loved him and cared about him in the community, so we want to enable everyone to come and say their goodbyes.”
Repository writer Tim Botos contributed to this report.