By Mitch Stacy
COLUMBUS: A woman who died after being found covered in burns and suffering on the side of a rural Ohio road was too badly burned for the cause of her death to be immediately determined, although it has been ruled a homicide, a coroner said Friday.
Dr. Jan Gorniak, the Franklin County coroner, said the exact cause of Celeste Fronsman’s gruesome death won’t be known for sure until the investigation is finished in four to six weeks.
A driver found Fronsman, 29, of Canton, early Sunday on a road northeast of Zanesville. She had been raped and burned, and had a strap around her neck. She died two days later at a Columbus hospital.
Fronsman had second-, third- and fourth-degree burns on about 80 percent of her body, Gorniak said.
No arrests have been made.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz, who earlier this week called Fronsman’s killing “one of the most gruesome things I’ve ever seen in 23˝ years in law enforcement,” said Friday that investigators believe Fronsman knew her killer. “This was not a random thing,” he said.
Court records show that Fronsman lived a dangerous life, having had dozens of brushes with the law since 2003.
In less than 10 years, Fronsman was arrested more than 20 times on charges mostly involving domestic violence, cocaine possession and prostitution, records in Canton and Stark County courts show.
In all, Fronsman was arrested and convicted of soliciting for prostitution six times since 2005, most recently in March. Her most recent arrest occurred on May 28 for having drug paraphernalia.
Her sister, Sarah Gulosh, told the Zanesville Times Recorder that despite her trouble with the law, Fronsman was a loving mother and a good sister and never failed to tell her grandparents how much she loved them.
“She was a good person,” she said, adding that Fronsman had a heart of gold.
Gulosh said her sister was left tortured by the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Jordyn, in 2005, and the death of her mother in 2009.
“We always told her she needed to stop what she was doing and ask God for forgiveness,” Gulosh said. “But she loved God, and she told us she had asked him for forgiveness.”
Associated Press Writer Amanda Lee Myers in Cincinnati contributed to this report.