Ashley Diane Hoath was arrested in con­nection with the death of Jeremy Barron.
HCSO | Courtesy

After a week of DNA testing, inter­views, and inves­ti­ga­tions, author­ities said they arrested a man and a woman on Sunday believed to be respon­sible for the recent murder and dis­posal of a Hillsdale man’s body.

Police iden­tified the sus­pects in Jeremy Barron’s death as Jay Scott Clark, 40, of Bryan, Ohio, and Ashley Diane Hoath, 27, of Hillsdale. A group of Amish boys riding their horses through the woods near the inter­section of Dimmers Road and Gilmore Road in southern Hillsdale County dis­covered Barron’s body on April 2, and con­tacted the sher­iff’s department.

“I want to make it real clear to the res­i­dents of our com­munity,” Hillsdale County Sheriff Tim Parker said during a press con­ference Monday, “we firmly believe that these two indi­viduals are fully respon­sible for the murder of Jeremy Barron, and that there is no addi­tional threat to our com­munity at this time.”

According to a press release, Clark is being held in prison and faces numerous charges including homicide-open murder, car­rying away/disposing of corpse, felon in pos­session of a firearm, con­cealing the death of an indi­vidual, and pos­session of methamphetamine.

Hoath is being held as an accessory after the fact to homicide-open murder as well as lying to the police in a criminal investigation.

Hillsdale County court doc­u­ments obtained by The Col­legian show that Barron was killed by a .45 caliber revolver. According to records from Mitchell Research Center, the latest murder in Hillsdale County was in October 2009 when James McK­inney shot and killed James Harper in Jef­ferson Township. McK­inney was sen­tenced to life in prison.

Hillsdale County’s chief assistant pros­e­cuting attorney Megan Stiverson said during a public press con­ference on Monday that she hopes Clark and Hoath will be found guilty.

Jay Scott Clark was arrested in con­nection with the death of Jeremy Barron. HCSO | Courtesy

“The police have been working non-stop on this,” Stiverson said. “I’m very con­fident in the evi­dence and in the inves­ti­ga­tions that have been done in this case that we will have a suc­cessful outcome.” 

Hoath lives close to downtown Hillsdale. Her apartment, located off of Cherry Tree Lane, is less than two miles from Hillsdale College’s campus. 

Neighbors in Hoath’s complex said they fre­quently saw Clark. Crystal Ewers has lived in the apartment complex for more than three years, and has lived right next door to Hoath for the last couple months. Ewers said she thought the two sus­pects were close.

“I thought they were a couple, maybe lived together or some­thing,” Ewers said “He was around here all the time. She was a fine neighbor, but she was in and out quite a bit.” 

According to court doc­u­ments, she also worked at the Burger King in Hillsdale. Brian Palmer, Hoath’s manager at the Burger King, said she only worked there for the ten days prior to her arrest Sunday. 

“She was on her shift here this past Sunday, and then the police came in and asked to speak with her,” Palmer said. “She went out for her break to go talk with them, and then she didn’t come back. It wasn’t until I read it in the paper the next day that I knew what was going on.” 

Palmer said despite her being their for a little over a week, she was a decent employee minus occa­sional tar­diness for her shifts.

Sheriff Parker said that there will be a probable cause hearing on April 19 and a pre­lim­inary exam­i­nation hearing on April 26 for both Clark and Ashley Hoth. Parker said he was proud of his staff’s diligent efforts.

“I’m proud of my staff for taking a cold homicide and making arrests within a week,” Parker said in an interview with The Col­legian. “But the staff is still working to finalize the inves­ti­gation. This inves­ti­gation has not stopped as a result of the arrest. We are still con­ducting inter­views, pro­cessing evi­dence, and we are con­tinuing the investigation.” 


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Collegian Editor-in-Chief, Thomas Novelly was born in Novi, Michigan, but was raised in Franklin, Tennessee, making him a self-proclaimed "Yankee gone South." Thomas began writing for The Collegian as a sophomore, and since has served as a reporter, columnist, and Assistant City News Editor. He has also worked for two major publications, interning at the Washington Free Beacon in D.C. and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has been seen in National publications such as CBS News, National Review Online, Stars And Stripes, and USA Today. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.