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Investigators Probe Double Homicide

December 2, 2011

Staff photo/Beth Lipton: Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey addresses the press during a news conference Thursday regarding a double homicide in Fort Recovery.

CELINA — A father and daughter were found dead Wednesday morning at their residence, bound with duct tape and dead from gun shot wounds.

Robert Grube, 70, and his daughter Colleen Grube, 47,  of 2216 Burrville Road, east of Fort Recovery, were found dead Wednesday morning by Robert’s daughter-in-law, Cassandra Grube. Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said at a news conference Thursday morning that deputies responded to a 911 call from Cassandra at approximately 9 a.m. Wednesday. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found Robert and Colleen bound with duct tape and gun shot wounds. There are no suspects at this time.

Colleen was last seen at 5 p.m. Tuesday night, after leaving Cassandra’s home. Grey said Cassandra arrived at the Fort Recovery residence after Colleen did not show up to baby-sit her children.

“She (Cassandra) went to the residence to check on them because Colleen was supposed to come over to her house to watch her children for the day, and when she didn’t show up at 8 o’clock, she called the residence and called cell phones,” Grey said. “When there was no answer, she went to the residence to check on them.”

Grey said that upon arriving at the residence Wednesday morning, detectives set up a crime scene perimeter around the residence and contacted county prosecutor Andrew Hinders and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI).

“To my knowledge, they’re the best there is in Ohio at doing crime collection and evidence,” Grey said of the BCI.

He noted that after obtaining a search warrant, detectives waited for the BCI to arrive before collecting evidence.

“Between the time that we taped off the area and we waited on BCI, we got the search warrant, but we waited on BCI because that is their area of expertise,” Grey said. “We want to make sure that we gather everything that’s there and that we do it correctly.”

Grey said there were no signs of forced entry and items appeared to have been moved around in the home.

“When we were in the residence, we found that some items were strewn about the rooms kind of indicating that the perpetrator or perpetrators were looking for something,” he said. “At this point, we have not been able to determine if anything is missing from the home.”

He noted that detectives had not yet processed the entire house.

“We are taking our time,” he said. “We are going to stay there until we have every piece of evidence that may be needed later.”

Grey said that it is unclear if the incident is related to other recent burglaries that have occurred in the area.

“We have had some burglaries recently,” he said.

“It’s mainly been taverns, not residential-type burglaries. This is a step out of the norm from the burglaries that we’ve had, and we haven’t been able to determine yet whether we think that the burglaries at the taverns could be connected to this. I can’t rule it out and I can’t rule it in.”

With 31 years of law enforcement experience in the Auglaize and Mercer county area, Grey said he does not recall experiencing a case like this.

“Normally the homicides that we have had, we’ve had a suspect immediately and people have known each other,” Grey said. “I do believe that these are things that we certainly don’t expect in this county. I think it causes our citizens concern. I hope that it heightens their awareness that things can happen in Mercer County.”

A tip line has been set up for the case. Grey encouraged anyone with any information to call the tip line at 567-890-8477, call the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office at 419-586-7724 or go online to MercerCountySheriff.org.

“We’re looking for anybody that saw any suspicious activity between 5 p.m. Tuesday night and 9 a.m. Wednesday morning in that area,” Grey said. “Even anybody that saw any suspicious activity within a few days before the incident. Anything at all. The nice thing about being in a small community is we do recognize when things are out of the ordinary so we’re hoping that someone has seen something and can give us some tips.”

Grey said that it is important for area residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and to remember to lock their doors.

“I encourage people to make sure that they keep their homes locked, whether they’re home or whether they’re not, and don’t allow someone into your house that you don’t know,” he said.

Grey noted that it is important to look out for neighbors at this time.

“Mercer County is a tight-knit community,” he said.

“We all know each other. We all know our neighbors. We need people, especially at this particular time, looking out for their neighbors. Checking if there’s suspicious activity. When you’re driving by your neighbor’s house on your way home, look and see if there’s anything unusual — a strange car, anything at all. If there is, please call us and let us know so we can check on things. It’s going to take the whole community to help us solve this crime.”

Grey said he is confident the case will be solved.

“I feel confident that working with BCI and I’ve got a lot of confidence in our detectives — I feel confident that we’ll come to a resolution with this,” he said. “Having said that, I don’t think this is going to be an easy case ... It’s going to take some time, and I think that science is what’s going to solve this case.”

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