Crash leads to arrest of Ohio man found driving with dead passenger

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BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — An Ohio man who police say was involved in a vehicle accident Monday afternoon was arrested after a body was discovered at the scene.

The driver, John Polen of St. Clairsville, was accused of offenses against a human corpse, according to an arrest warrant out of Belmont County.

Authorities said 36-year-old David Allen Saunders, a passenger, was ejected from a car when it veered off the road and hit a sign.

Officials first thought Saunders had died as a result of the accident, but a coroner’s examination revealed he had been dead for several hours or longer, according to the warrant.

Saunders had been reported missing to St. Clairsville police on Monday. His cause of death was not immediately known.

The warrant also says Polen was suspected of being under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. He was arrested in Wheeling and arraigned in Ohio County on Tuesday morning.

Polen remained in the Northern Regional Jail without bond.

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