Columbus police have charged a 26-year-old homeless man with necrophilia, Capt. Gordon Griswould confirmed Friday.
Domonique Smith was arrested Monday and charged with stealing a bicycle from Hill Watson Peoples Funeral Service on Hamilton Road. During the investigation of the burglary, police say they found evidence that Smith had sex with a woman who was deceased.
Smith was served with the necrophilia charge while in the Muscogee County Jail. If convicted, the charge carries a prison sentence of one to 10 years.
He is scheduled to appear Monday morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court on the necrophilia charge.
“The investigation led us to believe he had a sexual act with the woman’s body,” Griswould said.
Griswould did not comment on the kind of sexual act Smith allegedly performed on the body. The victim was not identified, though her family has been informed of the charges and the ongoing police investigation, Griswould said.
The crime is believed to have happened between 7 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday.
Griswould said he could not recall the last time there was a necrophilia charge in Muscogee County.
“This is extremely rare,” he said.
Cedric Hill, funeral director at Hill Watson Peoples Funeral Service, declined to discuss details of the incident.
“We hold our families dear,” Hill said. “We look for the best protection and security for the families we have served in this community for 65 years.”
The burglary that was reported Monday morning started an investigation that quickly led to Smith’s arrest. He was taken into custody at noon in the 500 block of 23rd Street.
Police had video evidence that put Smith inside the funeral home overnight Sunday, Griswould said.
Smith was originally charged with entering an unoccupied dwelling and pleaded guilty to the charge Tuesday in Recorder’s Court.
That charge stemmed from Smith being in the home where he was apprehended. He was sentenced to serve 30 days in jail on that charge.
Smith was back in Recorder’s Court on Wednesday, where he faced the charges connected to the burglary of the funeral home. He was charged with one count each of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft by receiving stolen property. Smith pleaded guilty to all charges.
Judge Michael Cielinski ordered Smith held on bonds totaling $20,000 and bound the charges over to Superior Court.
The bicycle Smith is accused of stealing was valued at $150 and was recovered at the abandoned house on 23rd Street where Smith was arrested, Griswould said earlier this week.
— Staff Writer Ben Wright contributed to this report.