An Ohio doctor has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the kidnapping, drugging, raping and murdering of a 23-year-old pregnant woman and her unborn baby girl Mabel Lilly.
Deanna Ballman was nine months pregnant when she went missing. Her body was found 48 hours later stuffed in the backseat of her car a few miles from Dr. Ali Salim’s house. The coroner’s report shows she died from acute heroin intoxication.
On July 31, 2012, Ballman told her mother, Lori, that she was responding to a housecleaning ad on Craigslist. Lori helped her gather cleaning supplies.
The last time Ballman was ever heard from was around 3:30 p.m. that afternoon. Lori said her daughter called her and sounded disoriented. Ballman told her mother she wasn’t feeling well. Then Lori said a man with a foreign-sounding accent got on the phone asking if there was something he could do to help. The call was lost shortly thereafter, and Lori filed a missing person’s report.
Six months later, in February, Salim was arrested and charged with nine felony counts including: two counts of murder for the killing of Ballman and her unborn child, rape, kidnapping, corrupting another with drugs, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Investigators found that Ballman might have lied to her mother about the ad for housecleaning. According to police, Dr. Ali Salim posted hundreds of ads on Craigslist asking that any applicants exhibit “no drama.”
Lori believes her daughter might have made up the housecleaning story as a cover. "That's the only reason I can think she told me she was going housecleaning, because she was humiliated," Ballman said.
Salim’s lawyer, Sam Shamansky, says his client is not responsible for the young woman’s death. Shamansky said Ballman was the “unfortunate victim” who died because she prostituted herself to feed a drug habit.
"Regrettably, she caused her own demise and Dr. Salim had nothing to do with it," said Shamansky.
Delaware County Capt. Kevin Savage said there is no evidence that Ballman was a drug addict, but he admitted the ad Ballman responded to was not for housecleaning.
"I don't think she knew she was going to be overdosed with heroin and subsequently die, but I think she knew what she was responding to," Savage said.
Ballman left behind two children, ages 1 and 3.
Due to the charges, the Ohio medical board revoked Salim’s medical license. His trial is set to begin Sept 3.