By Mike Hixenbaugh / Rocky Mount Telegram
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
A Spring Hope mother chasing Internet romance and dreams of a better life for her children was found dead this month in Southern Ohio.
Decomposing human remains found July 12 in Scioto County were identified Monday through dental records as 20-year-old Nichole Ann Alloway, authorities announced, more than a month after Alloway was reported missing from the nearby city of Portsmouth, Ohio.
Authorities have not released a cause of death, but they are investigating the incident as a homicide, officials said.
Diane Dille wept Tuesday as she recalled the Internet love affair that pushed her granddaughter earlier this year to board a bus due north for Ohio. Alloway traveled alone to Portsmouth to meet in person with an 18-year-old man. The two had met through MySpace, Dille said, and Alloway was sure it was love.
Dille said she supported Alloway’s choice to visit, although she didn’t think her granddaughter’s trip was a good idea, she said. Alloway’s 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son remained in Spring Hope.
“She went up there because she thought she could have a better life for her and her children,” Dille said. “She was going to go live with this 18-year-old because she didn’t feel like she was going anywhere down here, and she was convinced this was going to give her a fresh start and a life of her own.”
The in-person relationship fizzled within two weeks, Dille said, and the family made plans for her return. Alloway was on her way to board a bus back to Spring Hope when she disappeared.
Alloway spent a few days at the house of another man prior to her planned departure, Dille said. She also spent the night in a women’s shelter June 9 after Portsmouth police stopped her and a man who was driving her to a bus station. The man was arrested on drug charges.
Authorities said several persons, including the man Alloway traveled to meet, are being interviewed in connection to the case. No suspects have been named, officials said.
In Spring Hope, Alloway’s 2-year-old daughter still sometimes wakes up and asks, “Where’s mommy,” Dille said. Dille said she nearly collapsed when authorities told her the body found matched her granddaughter, who she raised as her own.
She wants justice and punishment for whoever committed the murder, she said.
If any good is to come of her granddaughter’s death, Dille said, she hopes it is a warning that could save the lives of other women like her: “Don’t trust strangers on the Internet,” Dille said.
“Nichole was such a sweet, fun-loving, caring girl,” Dille said, pushing back tears. “And she trusted people. She trusted people so much, that probably is what got her killed. Her trust of people and trust of human beings is why she’s dead today I believe.”
Funeral plans will be announced once Alloway’s body is returned to North Carolina, Dille said. Further testing is required to determine a cause of death and generate leads, authorities in Ohio said.
Scioto County Man Arraigned in Body Dumping Case
Reporter: Randy Yohe
SCIOTO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Forensic and toxicology reports should be back in the next few days on the case of a missing woman who was found dead in Scioto County this month.
Nicole Alloway's remains were found in Otway. Traveling companion Richard Howard has been charged with tampering with evidence, drug trafficking and abuse of a corpse, but may face more charges once reports are finished.
Detectives says the 32-year-old Howard has cooperated, admitting drugs were involved.
Howard appeared via video for his arraignment Monday. He will have a preliminary hearing Friday in Scioto County.
Investigators believe Howard and Nicole Alloway were in Howard's car, Alloway used meth and died and Howard dumped her body in a remote area around Otway. Her family says Nicole left the Raleigh area to meet a man she met on the internet. Then police here say she got involved with a bad crowd.
A judge set Howard's bond at $105,000. He's currently in the Scioto County Detention Center.
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