The remains of a 32-year-old woman found in southwest Columbus was ruled as a homicide by the coroner. Police identified the woman as Allyson Lorenz, and no charges for her death have been filed. According to ABC6, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department were the ones who discovered her remains while SWAT was executing a search warrant for narcotics at Bashan Drive in one of the condos.
Neighbors in the area told police that the condo where her body was found is a known drug house in the area. The house is located on the 1800 block of Bashan Drive. According to them, people were in the condo all day and night, and Lorenz owned the condo while also having a Defiance address. A 911 call told police that she was always there doing drugs and that the police had shown up multiple times prior due to commotion.
“There’s a lot of commotion, there’s a lot of fighting that you hear from the house. So, it’s been a lot of, it’s been a lot of concern for the neighbors because of that reason,” Moe Jallaq said.
Police wouldn’t comment on how long her body parts were believed to be in the condo. According to sources, they were found wrapped in black plastic bags with not much visible blood, meaning that someone may have cleaned them. Her body parts were the only ones discovered in the home. Anyone who thinks they have any information on what may have happened are being asked to call 614-645-4730. ABC6 and other local news stations are continuing to follow the story and will report if any more news is made on the case.
When police arrived on the scene, multiple people were inside the condo including ex-con Eric Ward. According to The Sussi Report, Ward has a violent criminal history including domestic violence. Ward was arrested and charged with domestic violence and drug possession and is currently being held at the Franklin County Jail. A woman who knew both Lorenz and Ward told The Sussi Report that she had heard Ward had almost beaten Lorenz to death one time.
Because the crime scene was considered complex by police, the division called in investigators from Ohio BCI which has experience with these kinds of cases and has the hazardous material clothing to deal with drugs. It wasn’t confirmed which kinds of drugs were found on the scene.
Defiance County Common Pleas Court records show that Lorenz was convicted of trafficking heroin in 2013, and was sentenced to a short prison term in 2015 following a community control violation. The home that she was living in is located west of Interstate 270, near the suburb of Grove City.
This is the 166th homicide in Columbus in 2021. 2021 is considered the second deadliest year for the city of Columbus. In addition to homicides, felonies are also up. According to Robert Strausbaugh, the Columbus Police Command the homicide number would be higher if not for the Columbus Division of Fire and local hospitals.
“The majority is out of disturbances. Someone getting into a disagreement, no one fights anymore. The quick response is ‘I’m going to pull a pistol out and I’m going to shoot you,’” Stausbaugh said.
Homicides in general have had a rise in other large cities like Chicago as well. However, the national average in the U.S is down from what it was in previous years. Officials have said that there isn’t a clear reason for why homicides have been so high in big cities.
“There’s no definitive answer to why we’re seeing the uptick in cities,” Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association, said. “Even with the uptick, it’s well below what it was in the 1990s in America.”
Some believe that the opioid epidemic and cut-downs in law enforcement agencies are reasons. Many minority communities are also believed to handle things themselves instead of reporting crimes to the police because of low trust in the law system. This could be a reason for homicides like Lorenz’s situation, considering that drugs were involved meaning she would likely be against going to the police.
In Chicago the number of arrests have gone down while the number of homicides have increased, but this is said to not be the same case in Columbus. According to police, arrests haven’t gone down in Columbus, and police are still out patrolling like usual. Police believe that turf wars involving drugs are one of the main reasons for the increase in homicides.
“These are not disputes that can be settled by the Better Business Bureau,” Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Missouri St. Louis, said. “They are often settled by violence.
Police around the area have been investigating lots of drug-related homicides. Indianapolis has also had a high amount of homicides, and police in that area also believe that drugs are the main reason why. Rosenfeld believes that one way to reduce homicides would be to reduce the demand for drugs by offering more treatment for drug addiction. Oregon decriminalized drugs in the state and made access to addiction resources more available. By doing so in other states, we may see a decrease in drug-related homicides. Poverty is also considered a big reason for homicides, so by providing resources to try and lessen poverty in large cities, we may see a decrease in homicides in general in these areas. Still, nobody is 100% for what causes these high homicide rates, so there may be more reasons involved.
Lorenz’s death was a tragic incident that is sadly not uncommon in the city of Columbus and other large cities. By doing more to try and lessen the demand for drugs, providing accessible resources for those with drug addictions, and trying more to help decrease poverty, we may see less incidents like this occurring in Columbus and other areas. Her killer still has yet to be found, so don’t be afraid to contact police if you have any tips for who may have been involved.