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Sandusky Co. plans to dig despite family's wishes

Matt Westerhold • Apr 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM

“I’m begging for help to stop this,” Mike said Friday. “I feel like we’re being raped and nobody’s doing anything about it.” 

On Tuesday, visiting judge Charles Wittenberg said he didn’t have the power to stop Sandusky County special prosecutor Dean Henry from digging up Jacob Limberios’ body.  Henry later announced plans to go ahead with a second exhumation on Monday. 

He did not, however, provide a time. 

Limberios family attorney Dan McGookey said Henry doesn’t have the power to order the body dug up. 

Since Jacob’s body is buried at Castalia Cemetery in Margaretta Township, Sandusky County officials would have to get permission from Erie County officials to proceed, McGookey said. 

The family sent a letter to Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter and Margaretta Township trustees on Tuesday, pleading with them to halt Henry’s attempts. 

“To say that we strongly oppose this decision would be an understatement,” Shannon and Mike Limberios wrote. “We respectfully request that our concerns be taken into consideration before our son is exhumed again.” 

Baxter, Margaretta Township’s legal counsel, wrote back Friday. 

“We cannot interfere in (Henry’s) pending criminal investigation,” Baxter wrote. “We have advised the (Margaretta Township trustees) to cooperate with the exhumation, as it is part of a criminal investigation, but only after Dr. Wukie has provided our county coroner with the basis and need for the exhumation of Jacob.” 

Baxter said he doesn’t think it’s proper to make a decision based on his opinion of the case, or how it was handled by Sandusky County. 

“There obviously were deficiencies early on in this case,” Baxter said. “Right now, we’re dealing with an exhumation request and whether there’s a good need or basis for that.” 

Based on a conversation he had with Lucas County corner James Patrick, Baxter said he suspects there is a good reason for a second exhumation, but he wants it in writing — with Sandusky County coroner John Wukie’s signature. 

Still, Margaretta Township owns Castalia Cemetery. The trustees — Timothy Riesterer, Joe Bias Jr. and Gary Pooch — control that ground. 

Mike Limberios, a lifelong resident of Margaretta Township, appealed to them Friday. 

“I worked with Gary (Pooch) for years,” he said. “We’ve done community projects together.” 

Pooch said he will have to go with Baxter’s legal advice. 

“We’re just going to go and do what the prosecutor tells us to,” Pooch said. “The prosecutor is our legal counsel and we’ve got to listen to what he says.” 

For Mike, letting a second exhumation take place is not an option. 

“What kind of a man would I be if I don’t make a stand?” Mike said. “How am I going to be recorded to (my granddaughter, Jacob’s daughter) if I just sit back and let this happen?”

Mike said he has people watching and waiting for the order of exhumation to come through. And when it does, he’ll be at the cemetery. 

“Nobody’s standing up and doing the right thing,” Mike said. “It’s a shame that it all has to be balanced around everybody’s political career.” 

Henry refused to comment.

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