Washington Court House man caught in Highland County, charged with murder of WCH woman


WASHINGTON CH — A Washington Court House man has been charged with the murder of 38-year-old Annette Lowery, whose body was found Thursday morning in a room at the City Motel after she was allegedly stabbed to death.

Jeremy B. Cottrell, 37, is being held in the Fayette County Jail after being apprehended Thursday afternoon. Cottrell and Lowery, also of Washington C.H., had been staying at the motel, located at 1524 Washington Ave., for at least a couple of days, according to Washington Police Department Chief Jeff Funari.

“A sharp instrument is alleged to have been used in the murder,” Funari said. “We’re not releasing many more details than that as this time, as we’re waiting on test results and the autopsy report.”

Funari added that it’s too early to talk about possible motives in the alleged murder. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting in the investigation.

“We’ve interviewed several witnesses who were staying at the motel at the time,” Funari said. “To our knowledge, no one else was in the room at the time of the incident.”

Lowery’s body was found when a motel staff member came to the room Thursday morning to inform the two that it was the motel’s check-out time. By that time, Cottrell had already left the motel.

According to Funari, police received a call from the City Motel at 11:23 a.m. Thursday.

The Washington Police Department informed the Highland County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Thursday morning to be on the lookout for the driver of a 2005 white Chevrolet Impala, according to HCSO Chief Deputy Brandon Stratton. The HCSO put the BOLO out on the radio, a member of the Brushcreek Volunteer Fire Department in Highland County heard the radio call, then spotted the vehicle at the back of the Hillsboro Walmart near the service center.

The Hillsboro Police Department and HCSO were dispatched to Walmart on Harry Sauner Road and sent plain clothes officers inside at 12:52 p.m. to look for the suspect. While they were searching, law enforcement received a call about a vehicle stolen from Speedway on North High Street — the two locations are maybe a quarter mile apart.

The stolen vehicle was a 2012 Chevy Trax. An officer was sent to Speedway to investigate and look at surveillance video.

At 1:21 p.m., a deputy passed the stolen vehicle on Paint Creek Road in Madison Township (near Greenfield). The deputy followed the stolen vehicle until backup arrived. When backup arrived the stolen vehicle was pulled over and Cottrell surrendered without incident.

Cottrell has also been charged with theft of a motor vehicle.

The Hillsboro Times-Gazette contributed to this article.


Staff reports

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