Daughter has faith her father's killer will be found

GREEN SPRINGS Two months after her father was savagely beaten to death in his Green Springs home, Sa
Sarah Weber
May 24, 2010

GREEN SPRINGS

Two months after her father was savagely beaten to death in his Green Springs home, Sandy Rios said the pain is still raw.

The anger still throbs.

And the faith that someday, someone will pay for the crime burns ever brighter.

Seneca County Sheriff's detectives are still investigating the Nov. 2 incident that left Frank Rios, 80, dead and his wife, Bette "Sue" Rios, 69, severely beaten.

Before the sun came up that Sunday morning, someone entered the Rios' country home and beat the elderly couple with a bat before leaving with several hundred dollars in valuables and cash.

Frank was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, where he died from his injuries 18 hours later.

Sandy said her step-mother has recovered -- at least from her physical wounds.

"She's lonely and angry -- I mean, mentally, what can we say?" Sandy said.

She said the family is still shaken by the loss of her father, who was strong and healthy and frequently kept busy with home improvement projects.

"I didn't stop in and visit as much as I should have, but they were happy. They were happy together," Sandy said. "I knew we had time -- we had plenty of time."

What she didn't know was Frank's life would be suddenly cut short.

Sandy said the holidays were dismal without her father, but she's been touched by the response from the Clyde community, where she lives.

"My faith in (the) community has been renewed with this," she said. "So many people have offered condolences."

Despite the comforting words, Sandy said it's unsettling knowing the attacker is still on the loose.

"I'm angry and I'm scared," she said. "I saw the house after the attack. I saw them after the attack. I know how vicious this individual is, and it scares me."

The 49-year-old said she recently applied for a concealed carry permit -- something she never considered before the attack.

She said her neighbors are also being careful.

"They are very concerned," she said. "They are making doubly sure everything is locked down or locked up. A lot of people have considered or have gone out and got dogs."

Seneca County Sheriff Tom Steyer agreed residents should be vigilant while detectives pursue the case.

"I think we're making some progress on this case," he said. "We're still following up leads. It's certainly not dead."

He said it's wise for residents to look out for each other and to lock their doors. The Rios forgot to lock their door the night of the murder.

"We hope this won't happen again, but we don't know," he said.

Sandy said even though the investigation has now stretched for two months, she is happy with the sheriff's department's work

"I have every good faith that the suspect will be apprehended, hopefully soon," she said.

The Rios family is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderer. The sheriff's department is offering $10,000.

Steyer said residents should report information about the murder or any other suspicious activity in their neighborhoods to the sheriff's department by calling 419-447-3456.