Ashtabula County murder suspect now facing death penalty

John Bove faces 10 charges, including aggravated murder and kidnapping

John Bove
SHARON: Arrested May 11 - John Bove, 36, charged with felony fleeing and eluding, receiving stolen property, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia in Mercer County and kidnapping and grand theft of a motor vehicle in Ashtabula County

ASHTABULA COUNTY, Ohio (WYTV) – A man accused of killing a teenager in Ashtabula County and then hiding in Sharon, Pa. from law enforcement was indicted by an Ashtabula County grand jury.

John Bove now faces 10 charges, including aggravated murder, kidnapping and gross abuse of a corpse. He faces the possibility of the death penalty if he’s convicted.

Bove is accused of killing Kara Zdanczewski, the 13-year-old daughter of his friend.

Investigators say Bove took Zdanczewski from her home with her parents’ permission on May 10. Her body was found in Saybrook Township, Ashtabula County just days later.

Bove ran to Sharon but was caught after a car and foot chase with police. A woman who he was staying with tipped off law enforcement, claiming he told her “things went south” with the girl.

He faces fleeing and eluding charges as a result of that chase in Mercer County.

Due to the Ashtabula County indictment, prosecutors there will be able to apply for a Governor’s Warrant to have Bove extradited from Mercer County to Ashtabula County to face the murder charges.

Since Bove has twice refused to waive extradition, issuance of a Governor’s Warrant is necessary in order to extradite Bove to Ohio. The process to obtain a Governor’s Warrant is expected to take approximately 30 days.

In addition to Bove, others were also indicted on Wednesday:

  • Debra Ann Bove: Two counts of obstructing justice
  • Malachi Desmond Schultz: One count of tampering with evidence and one count of obstructing justice
  • Stanley Ray Wilfong III: One count of tampering with evidence and one count of obstructing justice

Schultz is accused of hiding the murder weapon while Wilfong is accused of getting rid of John Bove’s bloody clothes.

Debra Bove, Schultz and Wilfong remain incarcerated in the Ashtabula County Jail.