Woman arrested for murder in roommate's death
by Gary Hanner
Dec 14, 2013 | 12378 views |  0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STEELE – One woman is dead and her roommate has been arrested and charged with her murder.

The couple lived at 27 Railroad Ave.

Authorities identified the deceased as Liana Stanghellini, 47. St. Clair County Sheriff’s authorities arrested Jennifer Battles, 40.

Chief Investigator Joe Sweatt said the Steele Police Department received an anonymous tip about a possible dead body Thursday.

“We obtained a search warrant and when we got to the residence, we found a plastic tote on the front porch, and it had small nylon straps around it,” Sweatt said. “Once we opened it up, we found a white female’s body stuffed in the container.”

Sweatt said the body was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensics Science for an autopsy.

“The cause of death was blunt force trauma and strangulation,” Sweatt said.

Sweatt also said the alleged murder took place the morning of Dec. 6, and that they did recover the weapon that was allegedly used in the murder.

“Battles carried on a normal lifestyle like nothing ever happened,” Sweatt said. “She never missed a day’s work.”

Sweatt said the dead body stayed in the tote inside the house from Dec. 6 until Dec. 12. Battles was arrested Dec. 12 at 3:30 p.m. and taken to the St. Clair County Jail in Ashville.

Sweatt said she is being held without bond, and that she will have an initial court date, but is not sure of the date yet.

Court information was not available as of press time.

The Steele Police Department worked with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department in the investigation.

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.