WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio – Police are looking for a Willoughby Hills man after his wife was found dead in a locked bedroom of their apartment.
Willoughby Hills police said they received a phone call from Jermaine Lawrence Tatum’s coworker that he had not been to work recently and was supposed to be there around 10 a.m. When police went to the couple’s Willoughby Hills Towers apartment for a wellness check, they were met by a foul odor, police said.
That’s when officers found Tatum’s wife, 23-year-old Elizabeth Tatum, dead on the bedroom floor, according to the police department. The room had a padlock on the outside of the door and police said they believe Elizabeth Tatum had been dead for a few days. Her cause of death is not known at this time and is being investigated by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. Her remains were identified by a tattoo on her upper shoulder.
There is a warrant out for Jermaine Tatum’s arrest for kidnapping his wife. The 32-year-old has a previous domestic violence conviction from 2006, before the couple was married. A coworker said Tatum did not miss work during his 13 years at Merit Brass, but when we was a no-show on Tuesday and Wednesday, they sent someone to his apartment. The Cleveland company is cooperating with the investigation.
Elizabeth Tatum worked at K-Mart in Mentor and has family in Toledo. Police said she had just informed her family that she was leaving her husband to move back home. The last time anyone had contact with the woman was around 1 p.m. on Monday, police told the media Friday.
According to Willoughby Hills police, Jermaine Tatum is considered armed and dangerous. He left with the couple’s 18-month-old son and does not have a car, so police said he could be traveling on Greyhound buses. Two empty gun cases were found in the couple’s apartment.
Authorities said they believe Tatum is in the Miami, Florida area after leaving Ohio on Monday. Willoughby Hills police have been in contact with U.S. Marshals.
Anyone with information on this case should call police at 440-942-9111.