Westerville police have charged a Delaware man in the death of a woman whose body was found on a Westerville street Monday morning, July 31.
Jonathan B. Coffman, 32, of Delaware was arrested for OVI and named as a person of interest Monday morning in what police referred to as a “hit-skip death.” By Monday night, he had been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony.
According to police Chief Joe Morbitzer, a passerby noticed the body of a woman on Park Meadow Road just south of Schrock Road and called police at 9:47 a.m.
Morbitzer said the woman, identified as Columbus resident Linda J. Evans, 68, was dead upon police arrival. He said the department believes Evans was out jogging.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, Morbitzer said Evans was found “in a field in some brush” off the roadway. He said she was “an avid runner” and said detectives believe she was hit while running.
Morbitzer said police interviewed a nearby resident who saw a man stop his vehicle in the roadway, get out to look at the damage and then drive away about an hour before Evans was found.
He said officers tracked Coffman to the parking lot of a nearby Chase office building, where he reportedly is employed. Morbitzer said Coffman still was in his car when officers arrived and was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. According to a city release, damage on Coffman’s vehicle was “consistent with the incident,” prompting his arrest.
Morbitzer declined to say what substance Coffman likely was under the influence of, and investigators are awaiting results of a blood test. Morbitzer said Coffman already had been into work Monday morning, police said.
Coffman is being held at the Franklin County Jail under a cash bond of $50,085. His preliminary hearing is set for Thursday, Aug. 10. He previously was charged with OVI and pleaded guilty in 2011.
Evans’ family was notified by police July 31, Morbitzer said, adding that they are “extremely shaken up.”
Parkmeadow between Schrock Rd and Broodsedge Blvd is currently shut down.— Westerville Police (@WestervillePD)July 31, 2017