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Who shot Jacob Limberios?

Register • Jul 28, 2013 at 5:02 AM

The Ohio Attorney General's Office has had little to say in the nearly two months it's been since the criminal investigation of the killing of Jacob Limberios was stripped away from local officials and handed over to the AG.

The three witnesses inside the home the night he was killed have not been interviewed by AG investigators. 

Mike and Shannon Limberios, Jacob's parents, were interviewed.  

"It's been more than 520 days — of waiting, waiting, and waiting — for Mike and Shannon," said Dan McGookey, a Sandusky attorney who represents the Limberios family. "Every day it's difficult and every weekend is like three months spent hoping the phone will ring on Monday and someone, somewhere, will settle this question."

And the most important question — who shot Jacob Limberios — never gets answered, he said.

"I'm not being critical of the attorney general's office. I'm not telling them how to conduct this investigation," McGookey said. "But the physical evidence that does exist is the best evidence there is. Look at the autopsy reports, look at the tissue samples and make a determination about that. Did he shoot himself, or is that impossible as Dr. Wecht has said?"

"Stabbed, beaten, burned & zapped," a four-part special report in the Register, starts Wednesday, details the death investigations that other families endured when their loved-ones were killed.

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Wecht, a well-known forensic pathologist and attorney based in Pittsburgh, ruled Jacob's death a homicide after conducting an autopsy in September 2012. There was no stippling, or burn, where the bullet entered Jacob's skull. The absence of stippling, which gets imprinted like a tattoo, indicates the gun was not fired from close range, Wecht said, making it impossible for Jacob to have been holding the weapon when he was killed. 

But a report of an autopsy conducted months later by Lucas County deputy coroner Cynthia Beisser tells a different story. Biesser, among other things, determined the bullet entered the right side of Jacob's head, not the left, as every other witness, emergency responder, deputies and others who saw the body have said. She also stated her findings were "not inconsistent" with Sandusky County coroner John Wukie's ruling that Jacob committed suicide but it might have been accidental. 

Wukie never went to the home and made the accidental suicide ruling just hours after Jacob was killed after talking by phone with a sheriff's deputy.  

Wukie and Beisser never provided the family any information or evidence that Jake committed suicide. No known information about what evidence led Wukie to rule it a suicide has been released by county or state officials, nor has an explanation been provided as to how the intentional act of killing oneself also can, at the same time, be an accidental, unintentional act. 

Evidence from the crime scene was destroyed while sheriff's deputies were still inside the home shortly after Jacob was killed, and other physical evidence was not collected. Sheriff Kyle Overmyer, chief deputy Bruce Hirt and sheriff's captain Mike Meggitt, all were at the home in the hours after Jacob was killed. 

Other emergency responders also were inside the home, in addition to the three witnesses, and it's not clear who destroyed the evidence. 

Like Wecht, Biesser also didn't see any stippling at either the entrance or exit wounds, regardless of which trajectory is correct. 

"Her report is inconsistent with the facts," McGookey said. "Her conclusion is inconsistent with her own findings." 

The Limberioses are not the first family to question Beisser's conclusions in an autopsy report from the Lucas County coroner's office. 

"Stabbed, beaten, burned & zapped," a four-part special report in the Register, starts Wednesday, and details the death investigations that other families endured when their loved-ones were killed.

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