More charges in corpse sex abuse case; victim's family talks

Reported by Corey McConnell - bio | email
Posted by Trina Kinstler - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A former worker at the Hamilton County morgue who's behind bars for sexually abusing corpses has been indicted on more charges.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the indictment of Kenneth Douglas on two more counts of gross abuse of a corpse.

Douglas was originally charged with sexually assaulting the body of Karen Range in 1982 after DNA linked him to fluid that was found in her body.

Now, DNA has linked Douglas to two more victims, Charlene Appling Edwards and Angel Hicks.

Charlene was 23 years old when she was murdered on Jay Street in Avondale in 1991. She was six and a half months pregnant with a baby boy at the time of her death.

Her family says Cincinnati Police contacted them to tell them a DNA sample from Kenneth Douglas proved positive a connection with her case.

Charlene's family says upon learning that her corpse was abused, it was like reliving her murder all over again. They say they are shocked and saddened that she can't even have peace in death. The man who killed her, Mark Chambers, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and was released from prison in April of 2000 and remains under supervision of the Adult Parole Authority.

She was one of three sisters, a graduate of Hughes High School, and a straight-A student. Charlene's family says losing her was hard enough, but learning she was abused in the morgue was too tough for them to talk about.

Angel Hicks died in December 1991 as a result of blunt trauma to the head. The defendant in her case was found not guilty at a trial.

"The indictments returned today represent a culmination of a thorough investigation," said Prosecutor Deters. "I do no anticipate any additional charges against Kenneth Douglas in this matter. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims."

Deters said Douglas could have abused more than 100 corpses, but he can't be sure because evidence from old cases is usually destroyed after a period of time.

Douglas is currently serving a three-year jail sentence. He was sentenced to 18 months for gross abuse of a corpse, and the other 18 months for a parole violation. He faces an additional three years in jail on these new charges.