Couple die in double suicide

BOARDMAN – A young Boardman couple were found dead Monday in The Wagon Wheel Motel on Market Street after an apparent double suicide, according to police and coroner records.

Cassandra N. West, 19, and Christopher Ocasio, 21, were found hanging in their room, each from a “simply fashioned noose,” according to a release Wednesday from the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office. Investigators also found two separately written suicide notes.

Motel manager Richard Dzuray found the couple, who had no pulses and were cold to the touch, when he went to check on them around 3:30 p.m. after not seeing either all day, according to a police report. The report states another person told police she had heard a man and a woman talking in the room around 9 a.m. Monday.

The coroner’s office release states neither body had signs of trauma and there was no evidence of a struggle in the room. The release noted what appears to be drug paraphernalia was found in the room.

The day the two were found, West was scheduled to be arraigned in Mahoning County Area Court in Boardman on a theft charge filed by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

And today, West was supposed to be in the same court on a domestic violence charge filed by Boardman police. In this case, she was accused of assaulting a relative with a shovel and fighting with her grandmother on March 7 at a home on Roche Way. Ocasio was at the home with West and was issued a no trespass order, according to a report.

Ocasio had been scheduled to appear on April 21 in a Boardman court room to answer charges stemming from an apparent violation of that order. Just after midnight on March 8, at the same Roche Way address, a police report states a relative called Boardman police to report Ocasio was standing by her car, and then left the area when he saw her. The air had been let out of her tires, according to a police report. Ocasio was charged with felony retaliation, criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

If the deaths of West and Ocasio are ruled suicides, they would be the second double suicide in Boardman in recent years.

The deaths in 2009 of two Cardinal Mooney High School students, Colin Hart, 18, and Jamie Serich, 17, both of Boardman, was ruled a double suicide. Their bodies were found on Dec. 6 in Forest Lawn Memorial Park during a routine patrol. The two Mooney seniors had suffered gunshot wounds to their heads.

rfox@tribtoday.com