Suspect charged with murder for death of Leonid Clark

Local News

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (WDTN) – The man arrested for the murder of Leonid Clark was indicted Friday in Greene County. Zyrian Atha-Arnett faces two charges of murder and one count of felonious assault.

Atha-Arnett is accused of murdering Clark in January, then leaving his body near John Bryan State Park. 

READ MORE: Body found in Yellow Springs identified as man missing since February

Extensive interviews and thorough analysis of phone records and GPS locator data led detectives to Atha-Arnett. Now he’s charged with murder and felonious assault. 

Greene County detectives say Atha-Arnett stabbed Leonid Clark multiple times, killing him, then left his body near John Bryan State Park. The body wasn’t found for months. 

Clark and Atha-Arnett had been friends since grade school and had a “love-hate” relationship, according to Clark’s father. Friends described it as a “volatile” relationship. 

Authorities allege Clark was murdered on January 13. In the preceding days, phone records show Atha-Arnett and Clark exchanged several text messages and calls. A few days after, coworkers noticed Atha-Arnett had cuts on his hands, bruising by his neck, scratches on his arms and chest, and complained of an injured ankle and knee. 

A breakthrough helped fill in the blanks in between: a search warrant for additional phone records for the day of the alleged murder. Texts between Atha-Arnett and Clark stated that they would meet and hang out. But cell tower records show Atha-Arnett’s phone traveling to John Bryan State Park where Clark’s body was later found. Google location data puts the phone 200 feet from the exact spot. 

That same data shows Atha-Arnett returned to the location where the body was found 37 times between January 14 and April 30. 

Google search history data shows Zyrian Atha-Arnett searched “Yellow Springs news”, “Leonid Clark”, or related search terms more than 300 times in the weeks after the murder. Not once did he search for “Yellow Springs news” before the murder date. 

He is being held on a $900,000 bond pending his arraignment.

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