The investigation into the unexplained death of a pregnant Colorado mother continued into the weekend with new revelations about the resident of the Ohio home where she had answered a Craigslist ad.
The body of Deanna Ballman, 23, was found Wednesday in the back seat of her Ford Taurus, parked next to a grove of trees on the side of Bevelheimer Road in Harlem Township outside of Columbus.
"Detectives are treating this case as a suspicious death," said Jennifer Jarrell, a public information office with the local sheriff's office.
Investigators learned Ballman had answered a Craigslist ad for a house cleaner at a doctor's home 5 miles away in northeast Columbus.
She was last heard from by her mother when she called to say she wasn't feeling well on Tuesday. When she never arrived home, her mother called authorities and a search began.
Ballman's cell phone, which is missing, was traced to Hampsted Village, which included the area where he car was eventually found and a pond, according to investigators. A dive team had searched the pond, looking for clues about her disappearance.
A local landowner saw a Ford Taurus with Colorado license plates on his property and contacted authorities. They found Ballman's body in the back seat of the car.
An autopsy completed Friday confirmed there was no trauma to the young woman's body. Further forensic testing will take two to four months, Delaware County Coroner Dr. Mark Hickman said.
Reports by the Columbus Dispatch and WBNS TV said that police records show officers have responded to the home where she cleaned 11 times in recent years and that some of the calls involved incidents with women.
WBNS said it learned on three occasions women complained of altercations with the doctor who lives in the house. Two of the women claimed to have first contacted the doctor on Craigslist, the station reported.
Police spent hours at the doctor's home on Thursday, removing a number of items for further analysis. The items included a desk computer, laptop computer and digital camera.
Ballman was nine months pregnant when she died and had planned to name her daughter Mabel when she was born. She had two other children who are being cared for by their father, a soldier in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.
Authorities said the father was in Colorado when Ballman died. She moved from Colorado two weeks ago to get away from her husband, her family said. Her husband's family denied that he had been abusive toward her.
The investigation is being conducted by the Delaware County Sheriffs Office with assistance from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification and the New Albany, Pataskala and Columbus police departments.
More info in Columbus Dispatch: http://bit.ly/Ozdtat Link
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