COVENTRY TWP. — Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers got a fright Wednesday night when they found a dead body in the back of a sport utility vehicle they had stopped for speeding.

But no worry, the two men work at a West Virginia funeral home and were legally transporting the body to that state.

But the patrol said one of the men, Anthony Marino Paletti, 39, of Flatwoods, West Virginia, revealed he was in possession of a small amount of drugs — less than 2 grams methamphetamine. The vehicle is registered to the Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home in Flatwoods, and the funeral home's website lists Paletti as the owner.

Paletti was cited for drug possession, and was summoned to appear in Barberton Municipal Court. His case could not be found in online records Thursday.

The men were permitted to continue with their trip.

Even though Paletti acknowledged having methamphetamine, testing of the substance must be done for confirmation, patrol Lt. Carlos M. Smith said Thursday.

Troopers stopped the vehicle at 11 p.m. on South Arlington Street at Krumroy Road.

Smith said the 2012 Ford Expedition SUV was traveling 45 mph in a 35-mph zone.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday evening with the answering service for the funeral home.

The patrol said the corpse was on a gurney in the rear cargo area of the SUV, and was not disturbed during a search of the vehicle.

 

Contact Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com. Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.