The Mercer County Sheriffs Department detective Megan Baker, deputy John Marbaugh and detective Lance Crum investigate the scene of a double homicide on Burrville Road near Fort Recovery on Wednesday morning. (Photo courtesy OLHD)
FORT RECOVERY (OLHD) - Investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification (BCI&I) have few leads and Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey is hoping the public will provide information about the murder of a 70-year-old man and his 47-year-old daughter in their home near Fort Recovery.
The bodies of Robert "Bob" Grube and Colleen Grube were discovered Wednesday morning in the home at 2216 Burrville Rd. The two had been bound with duct tape and shot to death.
"It is going to take the whole community to solve this crime," Grey said at a press conference on Thursday. "I am confident this case will come to resolution and science will play a part in the solution."
The time of the shootings has been narrowed down to between 5 p.m. Tuesday when Colleen was last seen and 9 a.m. Wednesday when the bodies were discovered by Robert's daughter-in-law, Cassandra Grube. Colleen had left Cassandra's home Tuesday afternoon after babysitting for the day. She was expected back at 8 a.m., and when she did not arrive on schedule, Cassandra went to the home to check on her.
The scene was originally described as a burglary by Cassandra in a 911 call. Grey confirmed that the house looked like someone was searching for something and that it is believed that crucial evidence may have been taken from the home.
"It is critical at this point to follow the evidence trail," he said. "BCI & I agents arrived shortly before noon Wednesday and processing crime scenes is their area of expertise."
Of interest is the fact that although a snowstorm began late Tuesday afternoon, there were no foot prints or tire tracks discovered in the snow. Autopsies on both bodies were scheduled for Thursday, and investigators are hopeful that the results will help pinpoint a time of death.
The bodies were found in the same room of the house with Bob in his wheelchair and Colleen on the couch.
Detectives and agents from BCI & I have several possible scenarios of the crime and how the killer or killers could have entered the home, including the possibility that entry was made before Colleen returned home Tuesday.
A weapon was not found at the scene and Grey declined to say where the victims were shot and how many shots were fired. Investigators are also unsure if a few recent break-ins at businesses and bars could have any connection to the incident on Burrville Rd.
"We are keeping some things close to the vest as we conduct a thorough investigation," he added.
Both Bob and Colleen were stroke survivors. Bob retired from Fort Recovery Industries in 2003 and suffered his stroke in the following years.
Elaine Grube, one of Bob's sisters-in-law, said he never complained of his health issues. He attended the Center for Neurological Development in Burkettsville after his stroke, but was never able to regain his strength or stamina.
"Colleen used to be a nanny in New Jersey before she had a stroke in her mid-30s," Elaine Grube said. "She had to relearn the ability to speak among other things. She came home after a while, and Bob nursed her back to health. And in the end, Colleen returned the favor."
A notice in red type on the Mercer County Sheriff website calls for "your help with the investigation of a double homicide on Burrville Road east of Fort Recovery. The Sheriff's Office has established a local anonymous tip line 567-890-TIPS (8477). Tips can be left 24 hours a day and all leads will be followed up by an investigator."
Meanwhile, Grey has issued a plea to area residents to be sure to lock doors to residences and vehicles, and not to let strangers into homes.
"This kind of stuff is not supposed to happen in Mercer County, and the nice thing about a small community is people realize when something looks out of the ordinary," he said.
Grey asked residents to be aware of strange activity in their respective neighborhoods and to call 911 if they spot anything suspicious.
"Neighbors need to work together to look out for each other's property," he added.
(Information from the Ohio League of Home Daily contributed to this report.)