SMITH TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A Smith Township man has been arrested in connection to the “apparent” homicide of a Beloit area woman.
According to police, 44-year-old Gena Wade was found dead on Oct. 26 at her home in Smith Township.
After a nearly two-week investigation, Major Jeff Allen with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office says enough evidence was secured to arrest 31-year-old Nicholas Cunningham Friday evening in connection to her death.
Monday afternoon, Cunningham appeared in front of a judge remotely. Along with the murder charge, he’s facing one count each of violating a protection order and aggravated burglary.
Major Allen says Wade and Cunningham were friends at one point.
“Something happened to corrupt that friendship, and they filed for a restraining order against Nicholas Cunningham, which was granted back in March of this year. That, of course, was the first step we took going forward from there,” Major Allen said.
According to Major Allen, on the night of Wade’s murder, Smith Township police responded to the scene. After determining it was a homicide, the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, along with Canfield, Beaver and Milton police departments, assisted them throughout the last two weeks in gaining evidence.
“There was more departments that actually showed up the night of to assist in canvassing the neighborhood to try to get us a direction to go on this investigation. So everybody helped out and it made a huge difference,” Major Allen said.
Information on the case remains limited and the investigation is ongoing.
Cunningham’s preliminary hearing date is set for Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 9 a.m. His bond is set at $500,000.