According to reports, Earley’s friends grew suspicious and filed a missing persons report when he failed to return home after meeting John R. Fox on December 29, via the classifieds section of Backpage.com. Alliance police Detective Lt. John Jenkins confirmed that Earley had posted ads on the website as “Tyler,” a “second-year college student…looking for men to have a good time with.” Both ads included his phone number.
Police say Fox also posted a similar ad on Craigslist soliciting men to come to his apartment that same day. Though the details of their meeting and Earley’s official cause of death have not yet been released, police have confirmed that Fox killed Earley on the night they met and stored his body in the closet of his Portage County apartment. Police discovered the body three weeks later, wrapped in a comforter and “quite decomposed” following an investigation and their acquisition of a search warrant.
A quick scan of Justin Earley’s Facebook page reveals he was a college student and former Youth Leader loved by his family and friends. A few cryptic statuses suggest he may have been going through a breakup at the time.
Justin’s mother, Cindy Parsons, is asking for donations to help with the cost of transporting and burying her son on GoFundMe.