They were both young women in the prime of their lives; one just 18, the other, 20, when they were last seen alive in Tallmadge, Ohio back in the 1970's.
But since then, 18-year-old Karen Bentz of Akron, and 20-year-old Loretta Jean Davis of Brimfield have been the long gone, but not forgotten victims of an unknown murderer – that is, until now.
A jury in Summit County Common pleas court found the man who stabbed them to death, 78 year old Gustave Sapharas of Jackson Township, guilty yesterday, on multiple charges including First and Second Degree Murder, Aggravated Murder, Murder involving an abduction resulting in death, and Maiming or Disfiguring another.
He was arrested and indicted in the cold case murders back in 2019, but because of delays related to legal appeals and COVID; only faced trial this week for killing the women, decades ago.
18-year-old Karen Bentz of Akron was last seen alive at about 11pm on Tuesday, April 28th, 1970 in Akron, Ohio. Her body was discovered on the morning of April 29th on the side of Indian Hills Drive in Tallmadge. She had been stabbed multiple times and was strangled.
20-year-old Loretta Jean Davis of Brimfield was last seen alive about 2am on Sunday, September 28, 1975 in Tallmadge, Ohio. Her body was discovered later that day on the side of Congress Lake Road in Portage County. She had also been been stabbed.
Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Breaux is scheduled to sentence Sapharas on Wednesday April 5, 2023.