NEWARK, Ohio (WCMH) — A Licking County man is a person of interest in his mother’s death and burial, according to the local sheriff’s office.

On Dec. 23, Licking County deputies searched the home of 67-year-old Debra Perrine on Darlene Drive in Newark after family members requested a welfare check, the sheriff’s office said in a Friday press release. The family told the sheriff’s office said they hadn’t been able to reach Debra in a week.

After they entered the home, deputies said they found Debra’s son, 40-year-old David Perrine, with another man. With no sign of Debra, but evidence of foul play and an attempt to remove evidence, the sheriff’s office said David Perrine was arrested for a pretrial bond violation. David Perrine was previously charged with grand theft of a vehicle, robbery and felony theft, according to county jail records.

Nearly a week later on Dec. 29, sheriff’s detectives and investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation found Debra Perrine’s body buried in the backyard of her property. The sheriff’s office said Debra’s body had “obvious signs of trauma.”

Debra Perrine’s death is being investigated as a homicide. David Perrine is a person of interest but has not been charged in connection to his mother’s death, according to the sheriff’s office. He remains in Licking County Jail on a $750,000 bond for his prior felony charges. He is set to appear in court on Feb. 10, 2023.

The Licking County Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with information on Debra’s death to call 740-670-5555.