Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
By Margie Wuebker
Arrests in home invasion
Three people face felony charges stemming from a home invasion Feb. 25 in the Mendon area.
Patricia Ann Abrams, 32, of Batavia, Michael E. Davis, 30, of Cincinnati, and Joshua M. Moreo, 31, of the Spencerville area, are incarcerated in three county jails.
Authorities do not believe they were involved in an unsolved double murder in the Fort Recovery area.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said the suspects targeted William Fair, 79, and his 47-year-old daughter Kathy, believing they had money at their Dutton Road home.
Moreo, who at one time lived along Deep Cut Road near Mendon and knew of the Fairs, apparently became involved with Abrams as a pen pal while both were in different prisons. Grey described Davis as Abrams' friend who came along for the ride from Cincinnati. They picked up Moreo in the Lima area.
The trio reportedly went to the Dutton Road home shortly after midnight Feb. 25. Moreo knocked on the door and asked for a person who did not live there.
Kathy Fair attempted to close the door after spotting Davis standing nearby in a ski mask. The men forcibly pushed open the door, and Moreo brandished a handgun, threatening to shoot the father unless the Fairs turned over money. Davis reportedly was armed with a knife.
Abrams, who also had a knife, initially waited in the car but later entered the home, according to Grey.
The intruders attempted to bind the victims with duct tape after pocketing money, but the Fairs fought back, sustaining scratches and bruises in the process. The three left the home in a dark-colored vehicle and reportedly stopped somewhere to buy drugs.
Grey said investigators, who were assisted by agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, have recovered the 1997 Mercury Villager van driven by Abrams. Evidence removed from the interior has been sent to a BCI & I lab for analysis.
Abrams was arrested May 16 in Clermont County after detectives went there to conduct interviews. She was brought back to Mercer County and indicted the following day by a Mercer County grand jury. She faces three counts of complicity and two counts each of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and theft. Her initial appearance is scheduled this afternoon in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Moreo, who has prior convictions in Mercer County for unauthorized use of a computer, burglary and forgery, was arrested May 16 in Dillsborough, Ind., where he had been working with a carnival crew. He was brought to Allen County Jail in Lima on an outstanding warrant for theft, forgery and receiving stolen property charges.
Authorities arrested Davis on Tuesday afternoon in the Cincinnati area. He remains incarcerated at the Clermont County Jail on unrelated misdemeanor drug charges.
Grey said the men will be charged shortly in connection with the home invasion and brought back to Mercer County.
Investigators initially believed the Fair home invasions and the murders of Robert Grube, 70, and his 40-year-old daughter Colleen might be linked. In addition to a familial relationship, duct tape had been used to bind the Grubes before they were shot to death.
The Van Wert County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate a March 18 home invasion north of the Mercer County line near Middle Point with Moreo and Davis as possible suspects.
In that incident, two men reportedly entered the home of 27-year-old Daniel Hemker through an unlocked garage door and awakened the victim.
Hemker, who reportedly suffered a knife wound, was restrained in the backseat of his Honda Accord and driven to a nearby quarry. One suspect got out of the car and did something to make it accelerate. The driverless car entered the 35-foot-deep quarry and rolled on its side as the passenger compartment filled with water. The victim was able to escape when the back window shattered and swim to safety.
The assailant apparently left the scene in a dark-colored vehicle driven by the second suspect. Hemker walked 2 1/2 miles to his home and called 911.
Grey said he called Adrian Grube on Monday night to tell him of the arrests.
"I told the Grube family to keep the faith and to keep praying," he added. "The case is progressing, and I am confident it will be solved."
As for the turning point in the Fair case, Grey said it had to be the involvement of the public who offered 260 tips. Thirteen court orders and four search warrants were executed during the course of the investigation.
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Mostly cloudy, snow