Passenger in Ohio man’s car had been dead for several hours before crash, coroner says


The driver was wanted for offenses against a human corpse

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – A driver has been arrested after a crash on I-470 on Monday afternoon where a body was discovered at the scene.

Authorities in Belmont County say 36-year-old David Allen Saunders was thrown from a car when it veered off the road and hit a sign near Exit 214.

First, officials believed he died as a result of the accident, but then learned that wasn’t the case.

Saunders was reported missing on Monday to St. Clairsville police.

According to an arrest warrant out of Belmont County, the driver, John Polen of St. Clairsville, was wanted for offenses against a human corpse.

The warrant states that after a coroner examination of the passenger, Saunders, had been dead for several hours or longer.

Cause of death is unknown at this time.

John Polen

The warrant also says Polen was presumably under the the influence of drugs at the crash.

He was arrested in Wheeling on the warrant out of Belmont County and arraigned in Ohio County Tuesday morning.

Polen remains in the Northern Regional Jail without bond.

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