TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – A teenager who has been imprisoned in Indiana since last fall was charged in the 2011 shooting deaths of a disabled man and his daughter, who had been bound with duct tape at their farmhouse in western Ohio, authorities said Wednesday.
The charges were a relief to residents in the rural communities of west-central Ohio near the Indiana state line where violent crimes are out of the ordinary. The November 2011 farmhouse slayings were so shocking that parents wouldn’t allow their children to be dropped off at empty homes after school and neighbors were asked to look out for one another.
Colleen Grube, 47, and her father, 70-year-old Robert Grube, were found dead by a relative in the ransacked home on a lonely country road surrounded by farm fields outside the village of Fort Recovery.
The Mercer County sheriff’s office said Wednesday that 18-year-old Trevin Sanders was charged with aggravated murder, aggravated homicide, robbery and other charges. Sanders is from Union City, a town that straddles Indiana and Ohio, but he’s been in prison in Indiana since October 2012 on unrelated theft charges.
Ohio authorities are working to bring him back to the state, where his case will begin in juvenile court since he was 17 when the father and daughter were killed, Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said.
Bryant Rhoades, 22, also from Union City, was charged with obstruction of justice. He was arrested Tuesday morning and made an initial court appearance later in the day. He was being held on a $350,000 bond, but it was not clear whether he has an attorney yet.
More people could be charged, the sheriff said.
“It’s been 16 months,” Grey said in announcing the long-awaited arrests. “In those 16 months, this case has never been cold.”
Investigators interviewed more than 250 people and traveled to three other states, he said.
The big break came in January 2012, Grey said, when Indiana authorities contacted his office and said they made an arrest in unrelated case and were curious whether there was a connection to the farmhouse slayings.
The sheriff would not release many details on Wednesday about the arrests.
“We don’t have these kind of cases in Mercer County so I want to be very, very careful in what I say,” he said.
Authorities have said both victims were shot during what appeared to be a robbery.
Colleen Grube’s sister-in-law found the bodies after she didn’t show up to baby-sit her niece. She said she found Robert Grube dead in his wheelchair and his daughter’s body on a couch.
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