Friday, December 23rd, 2011
Sheriff narrows murder timeline, suspects
By Margie Wuebker
FORT RECOVERY - Multiple intruders - likely a man and a woman - are suspected in the murder of a 70-old-man and his 47-year-old daughter in their Fort Recovery area home.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey released an update this morning that investigators have narrowed the timeframe of the double homicides.
The bodies of Robert and Colleen Grube were found bound and shot to death about 9 a.m. Nov. 30 at the Burrville Road home they shared. A daughter-in-law, who went to the home after Colleen Grube did not show up to baby-sit at 8 a.m. as scheduled, made the grim discovery and alerted authorities.
The original timeframe was 5 p.m. Nov. 29 when Colleen Grube left the home of her brother and sister-in-law after baby-sitting until the discovery the following morning. Grey said investigators have reduced that to a two-hour period but he would not release details.
Grey declined to elaborate on how investigators determined the presence of more than one perpetrator or what led to narrowing the timeline.
He confirmed there were no signs of forced entry into the Grube home, meaning the perpetrators entered an unlocked door or were admitted by one of the occupants. A Toshiba laptop computer is missing from the crime scene, but Grey would not elaborate on what if anything else is missing.
"We have some really good evidence," the sheriff said. "However, we don't want to release too many details at this point that could jeopardize the investigation."
Investigators have conducted more than 70 interviews. Many of those interviews resulted from some of the 60 tips received via a tip line established in the case and submitted on the sheriff's office website. Additionally, the sheriff's office has requested the issuance of 46 court orders and served 11 search warrants - one of which led to the seizure of a computer from an unspecified location that one of the victims may have used to communicate with others.
"Some of the tips have been very credible, and we appreciate each and every one," the sheriff added. "We have collected volumes of evidence that I believe will eventually lead us to the killers."
At least a dozen law enforcement officers - detectives and deputies from the sheriff's office as well as agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification (BCI & I) - are actively working on the case with weekly meetings held to review new information and test results.
"Investigating murders is thankfully not something we do regularly here in Mercer County," Grey said. "But the attorney general's office has provided us with experts well versed in such things."
Among the experts assisting local officers is a BCI & I agent who has worked on cold cases.
Tests results are coming in from BCI & I laboratories in Bowling Green and Richfield with analysts from the agency headquarters in London also reviewing the findings. Grey described some of the results as preliminary, but he added the flow of information from the labs is increasing.
The sheriff continues to urge area residents to submit tips to the tip line (567-890-8477) or the sheriff's office (419-586-7724). They can also leave information for detectives at www.mercercountysheriff.org.
Anonymous donor pays for Grube funerals:
A tremendous gift was given to the members of the Robert and Colleen Grube family.
An official at Brockman & Boeckman Funeral Home in Fort Recovery confirmed reports that a benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, paid funeral costs for the father and daughter found shot to death Nov. 30 at their Burrville Road home.
"The individual from the Fort Recovery area tries to do something special for people during the holiday season," owner Ron Boeckman said. "He felt this was something he could do for a family that is truly hurting from the unexpected loss of loved ones."
The Grube family was notified before the check was written, and they were surprised and touched by the gesture, according to Boeckman.
- Margie Wuebker