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Sandusky County deputy knows who killed Jacob Limberios

Register • Mar 24, 2013 at 11:00 PM

That's what Sandusky County sheriff's detective Sean O'Connell told Limberios' father Feb. 25. 

Mike Limberios said O'Connell also told him there was "nothing left for (investigators) to do" in the investigation. 

But a month later, the Limberios family still has no answers.

Special Prosecutor Dean Henry insists the probe is ongoing, and he refuses to disclose why O'Connell's findings are being withheld from the Limberios family or say when any extraneous details might be wrapped up.

"If I haven’t been clear before, please let me be clear now. No one from Sandusky County law enforcement, Dr. Wukie’s office or my office is going to comment to the Sandusky Register regarding the Limberios investigation," Henry replied Saturday to inquiries about the nearly 13-month probe. "When the investigation is complete, a report will issue."

It's not the first time Dean and his lead investigator have disagreed.

O'Connell, one of four or five Sandusky County investigators who reviewed evidence in the gunshot death, stated in a Nov. 8 email that the eyewitness accounts in statements gathered by deputies immediately after the death were "inconsistent."

But Henry told a Cleveland news reporter the three witnesses had been "absolutely consistent in their material statements."

Click here to read past stories about the killing of Jacob Limberios.

When asked Saturday, Henry declined to address or attempt to reconcile the countering statements from county officials. O'Connell did not respond to an inquiry.

Henry is a private attorney appointed by Sandusky County prosecutor Thomas Stierwalt to defend the county in a lawsuit filed by the Limberios family seeking a competent cause of death ruling in their son's death. Henry also has been heading up the latest criminal investigation of the death, which initially and continues to involve sheriff Kyle Overmyer and deputies, coroner John Wukie and others, many of who are named in the lawsuit as defendants.

Wukie has never been to the house where Jake Limberios was killed. He declared the death a suicide that might have been accidental after talking to Overmyer and deputies by phone immediately after Jake was killed. The initial investigation by Overmyer was finished within hours, and Wukie did not order an autopsy.

Deputies and witnesses also discarded blood-spattered evidence, did not recover the bullet from the home and compromised evidence in other ways in the hours immediately after the 19-year-old father of one was killed.

Tissue samples from an autopsy conducted months after county officials continued to refuse to order one showed Limberios could not have been holding the gun that killed him, according to Dr. Cyril Wecht, the private forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy. Wecht stated the cause of death as homicide. 

The autopsy samples were provided to county officials weeks ago, but Henry has refused to say what the county did with that evidence. 

Henry has accused both the Register and Limberios family attorney Dan McGookey of "unprofessionalism" and also suggested Wecht provided pre-determined conclusions in his report on the autopsy.

Wecht countered by describing Henry's remarks as "scurrilous' and calling Henry a "scoundrel" in a March 4 letter to Henry.

Family members and friends have started a Justice for Jake Facebook page hoping to garner community support to pressure Henry to take action. 

"There will be a petition available starting today that will call for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to step in and take authority over Jacob's investigation," a post left today at the page states. "Please check back, stay informed, and invite your friends."

The Register has requested copies of invoices from Henry for his services to the county. 

The Register will post the report of the criminal investigation here at sanduskyregister.com should a report be released by Henry.

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