Paducah man accused of killing girlfriend, hiding body under mattress

Marcos A. Rios (Source: Paducah Police Department)
Marcos A. Rios (Source: Paducah Police Department)

PADUCAH, Ky. (KBSI) – A woman is dead and a man who claims to be her boyfriend is arrested on murder charges after police say an argument escalated to violence.

Marcos A. Rios, 41, of the 1200 block of Broadway, faces charges of murder/domestic violence and abuse of a corpse.

Paducah police were called at 11:11 a.m. Tuesday after a maintenance man at the Deluxe Inn, 1234 Broadway, reported he found a body in a room at the motel.

Officers responded and found the body under a mattress in a room on the second floor.

Detectives determined the victim was Tonia Cornwell, 55, of Paducah.

They say surveillance video showed the victim, another woman and Marcos Rios, to whom the room was registered, entered the room the evening of August 18. The second woman later left. Rios left the room hours later, but Cornwell was never seen leaving.

Rios was found and brought to the Paducah Police Department to be interviewed late Tuesday afternoon on Aug. 23. During the interview, police say he told detectives that he was with Cornwell at the motel on August 18 and that they argued. Rios claims to be Cornwell’s boyfriend for three years.

Police say Rios said he strangled and stabbed Cornwell, then attempted to hide her body under the mattress.

Rios was arrested on charges of murder/domestic violence and booked into McCracken County Regional Jail.

At the time of his arrest, Rios was in possession of a bus ticket. He said he was planning to leave this morning for Mexico.

An autopsy was performed Wednesday morning at the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville. It confirmed Cornwell was strangled to death and stabbed postmortem.

The investigation continues.

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