Ohio Man Charged With Murder Of 22-Year-Old Justin Earley, College Student He Met Online

justin-earley-John-R-FoxA 34-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 22-year-old Alliance, Ohio resident Justin Earley in what is speculated to be yet another tragic ‘fatal hookup’ case.

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.

Fox, a registered sex offender convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a juvenile female in 2006, was arrested without incident while “walking along the road” last week.

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.

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  • mikeysexc

    That poor bastard… while some guys you hit on in public that aren’t gay or bi might be flattered, a good significant likely-hood is that you will get hit in the face.. if being gay was accepted socially more (and we have come quite a way already yea?) people wouldn’t need classified to hook up… so we have shit like this.

    Of course he may have been in the closet still and needed to do it privately.. but man what a fucked up thing to have happen to you.. i hope they give the death penalty

  • CCTR

    @mikeysexc: This is such an awful senseless tragedy.
    It has more to do with ill, violent, sociopathic, and psychopathic criminals than the means in which gay men hook up. Hooking up through a classified is not necessarily more dangerous than hooking up in other ways, especially when the goal is to end up somewhere private.

  • redcarpet

    Any kind of motive? Or do we just infer that he probably had some internalized homophobic post-coital psychotic break?

  • CCTR

    @redcarpet: the brief report did not mention any motive other than the accused is a registered sex offender and that his brother is a convicted murderer

  • jimbryant

    Before you go and meet someone you’ve never met before, always leave their contact details on your bedside table. Phone number, address…leave it on your bedside table so that people know where you have gone.

    All in all, this points to the potential horrors of anonymous hooking up via the internet. Always better to meet a person in the flesh on NEUTRAL territory and sus them out first. NEVER go to their house first.

  • oilburner

    @AuntieChrist: thank you for your comment I can’t stop laughing

  • CleJoke


    A hook up maybe. A casual meeting maybe. Maybe even a job. But definitely not a date.

  • CleJoke

    Right now we don’t know that much.

    Police have not released too much information. They found the decaying body wrapped up in a comforter and it was in pretty bad shape. No details were given on the manner of death. But they did charge the man who’s apartment it was with murder. No other details were reported and are all speculation at this time.

  • Billysees


    Good advice.

  • JasonBrownUK

    @KDub: Old queen ?? He’s 34 !!

  • JasonBrownUK

    That poor mother having to “crowdfund” to pay for her son’s funeral.
    Breaks my heart.

  • Kangol

    So very sad.

    I agree too about how heartbreaking it is that his mother havs to crowdfund to pay for the funeral, but I’ve seen this several times of late. Many people can’t afford to bury loved ones; it’s become very expensive.

  • tjr101

    @jimbryant: That’s probably the smartest thing I’ve read from you on this site, given your odious track record. Good advice.

    This is just really sad story all around.

  • hudson

    @jimbryant: Yes, just as there is no end to the wrath thrown at you for many of your comments, so should there be acknowledgement of good comments. I always used to make sure my friends saw any guy i was hooking up with when out at the bars. You never know…..

  • tada-no

    @jimbryant: Reality is that notifying your friends about your casual hookup date will not stop a homicide unless you plan to have bodyguards with you while you hook up. Telling someone will only assist police investigation when you do go missing 24 hours after you don’t show up. There is no perfect safety advice for meeting strangers and being intimate without really knowing anything about them. Several years ago a graduate student ended up being raped and murdered after she met up with a club bouncer in a bar. They met each-other in what we consider “normal face to face encounter.”
    My deepest condolences to the mother. No one deserves such a fate.

  • erikwm

    From another article:

    “Police have confirmed that Fox is the brother of Joseph Fox, who was convicted in the murder of their mother in 2012.”

    Sounds like a bad lot. Was he even gay? Was he just looking for someone to murder? Seems like the kid just met the wrong guy.

  • glittercomments

    I donated money to this poor kid’s funeral. His mom has a link up for donations; she’s a poor woman and can’t afford it. Queerty should have placed a link to it in the ad – it’s just a tragedy.

    I gave 5 bucks… if you can give anything help them out:

  • glittercomments

    I now see the link, real smart of me :)

  • annoyedduh

    @mikeysexc: I don’t think its has anything to do with what’s socially accepted, cause people hook up , chat up , whatever anywhere..it’s more of the dangers of looking for love on sites like craiglist, bookpage..sites that I personally feel can help a dangerous man or woman cause harm..hence the craiglist killer, the bookpage killer who lured the women from the site to his mother house and killed them..so it’s more of don’t make dumb decisions like this just cause you broke up and feeling alone..but poor guy, nobody deserves a death like that..

Comments are closed.