ST. MARYS — Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon is looking for the public’s help to put the rest an unsolved homicide that dates back almost four decades.
Investigators, with the assistance of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s newly created unsolved homicide unit, are re-examining the murder and robbery of Roger L. Parent. Parent was shot and killed on Dec. 29, 1978, at the P and S Carryout — which is near the former location of Villa Nova Carryout on Ohio 703 — in St. Marys. According to published media reports, Parent was transported to Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys, where he was pronounced dead.
“This investigation has never went away,” Solomon told The Evening Leader this morning. “It was always on our minds over the years. Different detectives have taken shots at it ... When Mike DeWine offered the unsolved crimes unit, we jumped on it because we want to solve this.”
Solomon declined to release any further information regarding details of Parent’s murder. He noted that through the years, different sheriffs and deputies placed an emphasis on solving the murder.
“There are still family members around here and we want to solve it for them,” Solomon said. “It would mean a lot to the people here, too — past and present — who put in a lot of time into the investigation. I can tell you that Sheriff (James) Knoch and Sheriff (Larry) Longsworth, if he were still here with us, would say the same thing that the family is the main concern. Some of the family have been in contact and naturally we want them to know this case has never been forgotten.”
Investigators recently met to brainstorm about the case. They reviewed past leads and information, and it was during these sessions that Solomon said he decided to ask for DeWine’s assistance.
“I think there’s always a frustration for the fact that the family has to live with this,” Solomon said. “Over the years, detectives and deputies, as well as officers from the St. Marys Police Department, have talked about it. Everyone who has had a stake has been frustrated it hasn’t been solved because of the family element.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call 419-739-6555. Callers can remain anonymous.
“We will listen to anyone and will run down anything,” Solomon said. “There’s a lot of information that has been run down and if someone may call us with information that has already been run down, we will check it — they don’t even have to give us their name. We would like their name, it gives us someone to check back with if we confirm their information and if we have another question about what they told us. We’d love to be able to contact them, but if they don’t want to give us their name, that’s fine.”