Friday, December 2nd, 2011
School staff talks to children after murder; parents given tips on how to make kids feel safe
By Margie Wuebker
FORT RECOVERY - Authorities have released the crime scene where the bodies of 70-year-old Robert Grube and his 47-year-old daughter Colleen Grube were found Wednesday morning.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey confirmed reports that cruisers and criminal investigation units left the 2216 Burrville Road scene around 9 p.m. Thursday. Motorists driving up and down the road between state Route 119 and Fort Recovery-Minster Road will no longer see bright yellow tape surrounding the perimeter.
"We feel the critical evidence we need is in the hands of the experts - agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification," he added. "I hope the public will understand that for a period of time the sheriff's office will not be releasing more information."
In order to conduct a thorough investigation, Grey has contacted the Ohio Attorney General's Office to request more agents from other parts of the state. The sheriff also has received offers of help from officials in other counties.
Personnel from the agency's northwest regional office in Bowling Green, including Steve Schierholt, a former Auglaize County Sheriff's deputy, and Chris Hamberg, who recently joined BCI & I after resigning as a Mercer County deputy, remain on the case.
"It is not unusual to request more agents," Grey said. "At this point we are pulling in everything we can and leaving no stones unturned in order to bring the person or persons responsible to justice."
Some tips already shared include things people consider suspicious while others deal with possible scenarios that led to the Grubes' deaths.
The wheelchair-bound Grube and his daughter were found in the same room bound with duct tape and shot. Authorities have declined to elaborate the number or location of the gunshot wounds but reported no weapon was found at the scene.
The timeline remains the same - from 5 p.m. Tuesday, when Colleen left the home of her brother and sister-in-law, to just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, when the sister-in-law went to check why Colleen had not arrived at 8 a.m. as expected.
Investigators continue to look into the possibility that someone entered the home through an unlocked door or were admitted to the home by one of the two occupants. Items were found strew about some of the rooms like someone had been looking for something.
Authorities will be checking out an incident that occurred in Delphos overnight, when a man came to the home of an 88-year-old woman asking to use her telephone. The woman refused and the man forced his way in and assaulted her. She escaped and an observant neighbor spotted suspicious activity and alerted authorities. They found him inside and he is currently lodged in the Allen County Jail.
"We will be looking into this to see whether there are any similarities to the Grube case," Grey added.
As family members plan funerals following autopsies conducted Thursday at the Lucas County Coroner's Office in Toledo, officials at Fort Recovery Local Schools continue to console students. First-grade teacher Michelle Grube Stammen is a daughter of Robert Grube and sister to Colleen.
Superintendent Shelly Vaughn said elementary and middle school teachers met Wednesday afternoon to discuss the tragedy and how to proceed with notifying students. They came up with a script that was read to classes on Thursday morning. It noted Mrs. Stammen had lost two relatives and the sheriff's office was investigating.
"We want to let you know that the police, as always, are patrolling our town and keeping us safe. Please keep Mrs. Stammen and her family in your thoughts and prayers," the statement concluded.
Administrators and the guidance counselor checked all classrooms to make sure students were emotionally well as the day proceeded, Vaughn said. Students also were encouraged to make cards or write letters to the grieving family.
Parents of elementary students will receive a newsletter today giving tips on how to help children deal with the tragedy.
• Reassure your child that our town and school are safe and that the police and sheriff's departments are looking into the matter and keeping us safe.
• Talk to your children and remind them not to answer doors. Review family emergency plans and procedures with children.
• When talking to your children, discuss matters in generic terms as children have a difficult time dealing with adult information.
• Keep your routine as normal as possible; kids get a sense of safety from their normal routines.
• Find ways to keep their mind off the incident. Have a family game night, watch a family movie together and do family activities.
Grey asks that anyone with information call the tip line at 567-890-8477 or the sheriff's office at 419-586-7724. Tips also can be left online at www.mercercountysheriff.org.