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A New Albany doctor was charged with murder on Wednesday in connection with the July death of a young pregnant mother.
Ali Salim, an emergency room doctor who worked in Knox County, was charged with two counts of murder as well as rape, felonious assault, corrupting another with drugs, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
The charges are in connection with the death of 23-year-old Deanna Ballman of Pataskala and her unborn child. Ballman’s body was discovered on August 1.
Ballman, who was a mother of two and nine-months-pregnant, was found dead of heroin intoxication in her car last summer near Westerville.
10 Investigates has revealed that detectives believe Ballman met the doctor to work as a model in his New Albany home. Relatives had claimed that Ballman went to the home responding to a house cleaning job from an online ad.
Sources told 10 Investigates that the two connected on Craigslist. Their relationship led investigators to suspect the doctor to be criminally linked to Ballman's death.
Ballman’s family said she had called them and said that she did not feel right. It was the last they heard from her.
Salim was taken into custody shortly after noon on Wednesday.
Salim has refused 10 Investigates requests for comments in the past.
10 Investigates visited Salim on multiple occasions to question him about Ballman’s death. He never agreed to an interview.
Salim is now accused of giving Ballman the heroin that killed her.
According to 10 Investigates, that might have been payment for work she was doing for him. 10 Investigates has learned detectives have done multiple interviews for the case, one of which involved a suspected drug dealer.
One source, who cannot comment on the record, said investigators are interested in cell phone records, surveillance video and doctor Salim's DNA.
His attorney Sam Shamanksy would not comment on those allegations. He said that Salim’ is cooperating with police.
“He's dealt with it well, with these allegations swirling, and not knowing if or when. It would be difficult for anybody but he's maintained composure,” said Shamansky.
Salim emigrated from Pakistan and did his residency in West Virginia. There have been past indications of other problems with the doctor and his New Albany home.
Police have answered multiple 911 calls at the residence; one came because of a woman who last summer told 10 Investigates that she answered one of Salim's Craigslist ads to model. She said when she got there, he asked her to pose nude.
"We're one step closer to bringing justice to the family and friends of Deanna Ballman with today's arrest of Salim. We hope today is the beginning of some form of closure for this family and other loved ones," said Delaware Co. Sheriff Russell Martin.
Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O'Brien said the investigation into Salim was not easy and involved a lot of evidence.
O'Brien said she will ask for a "significant cash bond" when Salim makes his initial appearance Thursday in Delaware County court.
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February 8, 2013: Emergency Room Doctor Will Likely Face Charges Related To Heroin Death Of Delaware County Woman
February 4, 2013: Tragedy Falls Upon Licking County Family Twice In 1 Year After Fatal Shooting
September 10, 2012 - Autopsy Results Released In Pregnant Mother's Death
August 4, 2012 - More Craigslist Connections Found In Pregnant Mother’s Death Investigation
August 3, 2012 - Investigators Search Home In Connection With Pregnant Mother's Death
August 2, 2012 - Sheriff: Body Found Was Missing Pregnant Pataskala Mother