Missing Teen Found Dead After Texted Her Mom 'I'm Scared' Before Disappearing

| by Brendan Kelly

Authorities in Ohio have confirmed that the remains found in a backyard fire pit belong to teenager Alesha Bell, who went missing after sending her mother a disturbing text message.

"Mom, if I make it home, I need you," the text message Bell sent to her mom read. "I'm scared."

That text message was sent on July 24 and it was the last time Alesha's mother, Tiffany Knepper heard from her daughter.

The 18-year-old girl lived in Warren, Ohio, about 60 miles southeast of Cleveland. She was last seen on the evening of July 23 when she left her mother's house on foot to visit a relative.

On Aug. 20, narcotics agents raided a home in a town called Roaming Shores, located about 40 miles north of Warren. During the raid, bones were found in a fire pit in the backyard.

After the bones were found, 40-year-old James Brooks was arrested. He is facing charges including abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, drug trafficking, and weapons violations. 

Brooks admitted to being with Bell on July 23 but claimed that she was dropped off in Warren.

A grand jury is currently considering evidence against Brooks and he is being held on $700,000 bail.

On Thursday, Ashtabula County authorities held a press conference in which they revealed that the bones from the fire pit have been positively identified as Bell's.

 Bell's death has been ruled a homicide, but the cause of death has not yet been determined.

Jasmaine Smith is another young woman from Warren who has been missing since June 5. Her mother Daniell Wilder believes Brooks may be connected to her daughter's case as well because she reportedly also knew him.

Brooks has not been named as a person of interest in the case of Smith's disappearance.

Sources: Huffington Post, CBS News

Photo Credit: Huffington Post