I was contacted by the family attorney for 19-year old Jacob Limberios of Sandusky County, Ohio about the shoddy investigation by law enforcement, and the absolute failure of the county coroner to (1) even go to the home where Jake died, and (2) the refusal to autopsy Jake to determine a cause of death. Rather than doing so, Jake’s death was ruled a suicide by accident. Jacob died from a gunshot to the head in Sandusky County on March 2, 2012. Three friends were present and stated that Jake put the gun to his head when he was on the phone and pulled the trigger, even though he knew there was still a live round in the .357 magnum. Statements since that time have conflicted, and evidence was allowed to be discarded or not even collected by Sandusky County Sheriff’s. One witness during her statement to law enforcement referred to the incident that night as the “murder”.
Since that time the family through their attorney have desperately tried to get cooperation from county officials to actually investigate the matter and to change the cause of death. County Coroner Dr. John Wukie declared the death a suicide within hours of the death and to this day has refused to change that ruling. One must ask – how do you declare a death anything without actually viewing the body or at the least conducting an autopsy? This case is rife with judicial failures and is one that I feel needs to be brought to a much wider public audience. There is power in numbers and utilizing those numbers for a demand for justice or in the least — that Sandusky County officials do what they are being paid to do by the citizens of their county — INVESTIGATE this case properly.
The Limberios’ were forced to employ the assistance of noted forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht who exhumed Jake’s body and conducted an autopsy. His findings were that there is “incontrovertible forensic scientific proof” that someone else shot Jacob Limberios. Dr. Wecht also stated the the tissue sample had no gunpowder residue in it thus affirming his assertions that Jake could not have shot himself. Someone else did. The deputies on the scene also failed to collect all evidence; namely the bullet that was and is still lodged in the ceiling of the crime scene. They also did not swab the witnesses for gunpowder residue.
“What 10th-grade kid in America wouldn’t say, ‘Let’s see if (the bullet lodged in the ceiling) matches up with the gun?’” Wecht said. “Even a 6-year old boy would say, ‘Let’s see if there were fingerprints left on the gun.’”
“These are basic things,” he said. “There’s nothing special about what I’m saying.”
Wecht also kept tissue samples for the Lucas County Coroner’s office. The Sandusky Register determined that Sandusky County NEVER sent the tissue samples to Lucas County. After this information was made known to Dr. Wuchie and his office, he recently decided that they wanted to exhume Jake’s body to perform an autopsy. Why not examine the tissue samples provided to his office by Dr. Wecht? Why put the family through the heartache of a second exhumation when he has tissue samples available to review without the need for an exhumation? Attorney McGookey filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction to block a second exhumation of Jake.
The Limberios’ family are essentially having to BEG Attorney General Mike DeWine to step in as special prosecutor in this matter so that their son’s death is investigated properly — as it should have been done from day one. They have filed a motion to remove Dean Henry from the case and appoint a special prosecutor because Dean Henry, County Prosecutor is not only the prosecutor on the case at hand, but also represents Dr. Wuchie and others in a civil action filed by the Limberios family. Conflict of interest, anyone?
Ansted and Dewey appointed Henry prosecutor Feb. 5, in an unusual court order both signed without having an assigned case.
Ansted had earlier recused herself from becoming involved in the Limberios investigation, citing a conflict of interest, but she has refused to offer an explanation how that conflict no longer applied in naming Henry to serve as both special prosecutor and defense counsel regarding the killing of 19-year-old Jacob Limberios.
Legal scholars and practicing attorneys have suggested Henry’s dual roles — as prosecutor and defense counsel — presents an obvious conflict of interest that hampers his ability to conduct a competent criminal investigation properly.
The family sent an open letter to Dr. Wuchie and others asking critical questions regarding the investigation which have yet to be answered.
So, what can you do about it? Demand action. Sign the change.org petition and share with your friends and family. Email or telephone Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and tell him to do the right thing by stepping in. This family deserves answers.