Celeste Fronsman is dead. She was 29 years old.
Don’t recognize the name? It’s not likely you would, unless you were in the area of east-central Ohio last week. Fronsman was found last Sunday on a rural roadway near Zanesville in Muskingum County; raped, beaten, naked and burned over eighty percent of her body. Some of the burns were fourth-degree burns, which means the skin was falling off her body.
And the Good Samaritan who found Celeste found her alive and still of sound enough mind to tell him her name and where she lived. She was screaming in agony, begging not to be left alone, as the stranger tried to help her by covering her with a towel from his truck and providing her with a drink. He also loosened the strap around her neck, so she could breathe. She told him that people were trying to kill her.
Celeste died about a day later. The coroner still has yet to determine what exactly caused her death. I’m not making up that last statement. As incredible as it sounds, the coroner has to diligently pursue a cause of death, even when it seems obvious. Or when it hardly seems to matter.
Who could have hated this woman so much to do that kind of damage? She was a mother once (her daughter Jordyn died back in 2005). she cared about a man once at least to create that little girl. She was a daughter, a granddaughter. Some news outlets mentioned her troubled, criminal past. Some used a police booking photo of her to illustrate the story of her death. One newspaper did use a photo of her and her little girl. They looked a lot alike, with thick, dark hair, olive skin and dark eyes.
As of now, there are “persons of interest” being sought in this case, but no arrest(s) yet. Beyond the insanity and the inhumanity of this attack is the question: where does the violence end? I don’t care what Celeste Fronsman did or said to anyone. No one deserves to die like this. And the person(s) responsible don’t deserve to walk away, leaving her to die on a rural roadside with the sound of a stranger’s prayer likely the last thing she ever heard.
An update to this story: several arrests have been made in this case. LaFonse Darney Dixon and Monica Jean Washington were arrested Tuesday, Sept. 4. Katrina Marie Culberson was arrested several days prior. All three have been charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping and aggravated arson. The aggravated murder charge carries the death penalty.