Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
Suspicious death being investigated
By Margie Wuebker
Celina Police are investigating the suspicious death of a local woman after she and her husband were found in an unresponsive state at their home Tuesday night.
Michelle Riley, 36, 428 E. Livingston St., was pronounced dead when officers and paramedics responded to a 911 call at 11:13 p.m. Her husband, 42-year-old Brett Riley, also was found in the television room unresponsive but breathing.
The couple's 11-year-old son reportedly awakened and found their bodies. He screamed for his 14-year-old sister and she placed the 911 call, telling a dispatcher she could not awaken her parents. However, the father groaned when she shook him.
In response to questions from the dispatcher, the teenager said she did not see blood or any reason to prevent them from awakening.
Brett Riley was unconscious when medical personnel carried him from the house and into a waiting ambulance for transport to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater. He reportedly regained consciousness at the hospital with a nursing supervisor listing his condition as serious this morning.
"We found no apparent injuries, no signs of forced entry and no signs of a struggle," Police Chief Dave Slusser told The Daily Standard. "As far as I know, there have been no domestic issues or criminal activity involving these people."
Mercer County Coroner Dr. Timothy Heinrichs ordered the woman's body to be transported to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office in Dayton for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. It could take four to six weeks to receive toxicology reports, according to Slusser.
Police executed a search warrant in hopes of finding evidence that might explain what happened. They left around 4 a.m. with some items, which the police chief declined to identify.
Both youngsters were upset but otherwise felt OK physically, lessening the likelihood that fumes of some sort were the culprit. Pastor Randy and Trish Christian, police department chaplains, assisted grieving family members at the scene.
The Rileys also have a daughter in college, but she was apparently not home at the time. The children are staying with a paternal grandmother for the time being.
"We are eliminating possibilities at this point," Slusser added. "And we will continue to work with Dr. Heinrichs as well as the Montgomery County Coroner's Office on this case. The death is suspicious and that is about all I can say at this point."