CELINA — Three suspects, including a Spencerville man, have been arrested for their respective roles in a home invasion Feb. 25 near Mendon.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey announced the arrest of three people believed to be linked to a home invasion at 12617 Dutton Road, just north of Ohio 117 near Mendon. Two people were inside the residence at the time — Kathy Fair, 47, and her father William Fair, 73.
Following an extensive investigation, which included more than 250 tips, Patricia Ann Abrams, 32, of Batavia, Joshua M. Moreo, 31, last known address of Spencerville, and Michael E. Davis, 30, of Cincinnati, were arrested by investigators in connection with the crime. Abrams and Moreo were arrested on May 16 and Davis was arrested on Monday.
Abrams, who has been indicted on one count of aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, two counts of complicity, first-degree felonies, theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, and complicity, a first-degree misdemeanor, is currently being held in the Mercer County Jail. She is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon for a bond hearing.
Grey said deputies interviewed Abrams in Clermont County and she was arrested at its conclusion. She was later transported to Mercer County following an extradition hearing.
Moreo, who has yet to officially be charged in the case, is being held in the Allen County Jail on a warrant from the Allen County Sheriff's Office on unrelated charges. He was arrested in Dillsboro, Ind., where he was working at a carnival. Grey said he expected to file formal charges against Moreo in the near future.
Davis is currently being held in the Clermont County Jail on unrelated drug charges. He also has a holder placed on him out of Mercer County.
Grey said Abrams drove from the Cincinnati area, with Davis in the vehicle — a 1997 Mercury Villager van — and allegedly picked up Moreo in the area. The three then drove to the Fair home.
"It wasn't a random act," Grey said of the crime. "The Fairs were actually targeted by these people. When they got here from Cincinnati and picked up Moreo, they knew where they were going. They picked up Moreo in the Lima area and drove straight to the Dutton Road address."
Grey declined to give a specific reason as to why the Fairs were targeted. However, he revealed the suspects had a reason to believe the home contained money.
"Josh Moreo, being from the Spencerville area, was familiar with the Fairs," Grey said. "He knew of the Fairs, I'm not sure the Fairs actually knew him ... He suspected there would be a little money in there."
Grey said the purpose of the home invasion was to obtain money to purchase drugs, which the suspects reportedly did following the crime.
"They did the home invasion, got the money and on their way back from the home invasion, they purchased drugs," Grey said. "The reason for it was to purchase drugs."
Grey said the three are not strangers. Abrams and Moreo were pen pals while in their respective prisons. Davis, Grey said, is a friend of Abrams.
Grey touted the tips that poured into the agency for helping investigators crack the case. Through its various tips lines, investigators received 260 tips.
"I'd say the biggest turning point was the help from the public," Grey said. "Sometimes I don't think the public recognizes the importance they play in helping local law enforcement solve crimes. The tips that came in, it's amazing how many of those tips were right."
While the case had some similarities to the Grube double homicide, Grey said the Fair home invasion is not related. Grey said investigators are continuing to work on the Grube case and are making "progress."