Police: Body found in Niagara Falls ID’d as Youngstown man’s girlfriend

Niagara Falls crime scene (Courtesy: WIVB in Buffalo, New York)


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Niagara County Coroner James Carroll confirmed that the body found in a Youngstown man’s trunk Wednesday evening is the man’s girlfriend, 28-year-old Anvia Mickens.

Mickens died of 23 stab wounds, 14 lacerations, and strangulation, according to the coroner’s autopsy results.

The chair where she once cut hair at the Starting Line Barber Shop in downtown Youngstown sat empty on Thursday.

“Anytime you hear about a loved one, whether it’s rumor or it confirms to be true, it hurts,” said her co-worker, Jerome.

JeShawn Elliot, 27, was in court on Thursday morning, facing charges after police in Niagara Falls, New York reported finding a body in the trunk of his car.

He hasn’t been charged with Mickens’ death at this point but police don’t think he can post his $200,000 bond to get out of jail.

The investigation began after police in Youngstown got a call around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday from Elliot’s brother, who said Elliot told him he just stabbed Mickens and was headed to Niagara Falls to commit suicide.

“We spoke to the brother, the initial caller, and we obtained a name for the girlfriend. We spoke to her mother and she also confirmed that she’s been missing,” Youngstown Police Lt. Doug Bobovnyik said.

Mickens’ mother filed a missing persons report for her daughter and the Youngstown Police Department put out a nationwide pick-up on Elliot.

She then found Mickens’ phone on the ground outside of her Bradley Lane home. Police went there to begin their investigation.

They used OnStar to find Mickens’ car downtown near the barber shop but said she never showed up for work on Wednesday.

Police then moved on to a home in the 200 block of Outlook Avenue, where Elliot lives. It was a crime scene Wednesday evening and numerous police officers were there.

When Niagara Falls detectives found Elliot’s silver Chevy Malibu just after 6 p.m. in a parking lot near the Niagara River last night, he was not in the car.

Upon breaking in and searching the car, they found blood inside and Mickens’ body in the trunk. They also found a knife, which they believe is the murder weapon.

Meanwhile, police said Elliot borrowed someone’s cell phone to call his brother and tell him what he had done. He then rented a bike and was spotted by Niagara Falls, New York police riding it about two blocks away.

Elliot fell off the bike when police started chasing him. Police said they tased him after he pulled a folding knife on officers. He was surrounded by 25 to 30 officers, police said.

“With a folding knife open and lunged toward one of the police officers — waved the knife at the officer — at which time, a different police officer deployed his taser, striking him and the suspect fell to the ground,” Capt. Kelly Rizzo said.

He was then taken to the hospital for an evaluation and later to jail on attempted assault of a police officer and menacing charges.

Niagara Falls police said during a press conference Thursday morning that murder charges are pending as they put together a stronger case against Elliot.

Investigators don’t know why Elliot drove to Niagara Falls, as he has no connection to the area.

Police aren’t sure yet where Mickens was killed but Niagara Falls Police Superintendent E. Bryan Dalporto said the medical examiner determined she had been dead for at least 12 hours.

Police couldn’t say what they found inside Elliot’s Youngstown home or if anything pointed to where the murder happened.

Niagara Falls police are primarily handling the case right now since there is no definite indication that Mickens was killed in Youngstown, but officers here are sharing any evidence they find.

Niagara Falls police said Elliot refused to answer any questions, including a big one they have — his motive.