NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio — The Tuscarawas County man and woman who allegedly lived alongside a man’s decomposing remains in order to cash his benefits checks appeared in court on Tuesday.
Forty-nine-year-old Brian Sorohan and 45-year-old Stacy Sorohan, both of Wainwright, pleaded not guilty to two counts of theft and a single count of gross abuse of a corpse, all fifth-degree felonies. The Sorohans are accused of living alongside 71-year-old Robert Harris’ dead body for months while they continued cashing his Social Security and veterans’ benefits checks. They were indicted last month on the charges.
The Tuscarawas County Coroner’s Office said earlier this month that a cause of death could not be determined for the Vietnam War veteran, due to the remains’ advanced state of decomposition. Harris’ remains were discovered on March 21 in the Wainwright home he shared with Brian and Stacy Sorohan and their daughter, Briann.
Eighteen-year-old Briann Sohoran originally faced similar charges to those leveled against her mother and father, but the felony counts were dropped last month when she pleaded no contest to a single count of failure to report a death.
Harris, a Vietnam War veteran, was buried with full military honors on April 21 at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman.