Second suspect at large in Green Springs slaying

TIFFIN The bond for the woman arrested in the beating death of an 80-year-old Green Springs man was
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

TIFFIN

The bond for the woman arrested in the beating death of an 80-year-old Green Springs man was set at $1 million, but the man suspected in the crime remained on the loose Thursday night.

During her hearing Thursday in Seneca County, Erica R. Rowe, 22, kept her back turned to news photographers.

Rowe allegedly acted as an accomplice to Patrick Stansbery, 26, Clyde, in the burglarizing and beating of Frank Rios and his wife, Bette "Sue" Rios.

Rowe was indicted Wednesday by a Seneca County grand jury on charges of complicity to murder, complicity to aggravated burglary, complicity to aggravated robbery and complicity to felonious assault. If convicted, she could spend the rest of her life in prison.

According to police, the couple was sleeping in their rural Green Springs home when Frank Rios awoke to the sound of the front door opening. When he investigated, he found a man standing in the home, his wife told police. The man beat Frank with what was believed to be a baseball bat until he was unconscious and then attacked his wife. About $500 worth of items were stolen from the home. Frank died a day later from his injuries.

Seneca County prosecutor David Devine said officials were still investigating the case involving Patrick Stansbery.

Devine, who called the crimes against the couple "heinous," said jewelry stolen from the Rios' home the night of the attack was found in Rowe's possession.

"The defendant in this case has made incriminating statements to law enforcement indicating her presence at the Rios home on the night in question and making entrance into the house," Devine said during the hearing before Judge Steve C. Shuff.

Rowe is already serving probation for a misdemeanor in Sandusky County.

Officials with knowledge of the case said she was a suspect for some time.

When Erie County Sheriff's deputies arrested her at Firelands Regional Medical Center, where she was being treated, she did not seemed surprised, Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth said.

"It would be fair to say she was aware of the investigation," he said.

Devine would not comment on Rowe's relationship with Stansbery.

They were at least acquaintances. According to Clyde police records, Rowe filed a complaint on Nov. 14 accusing Stansbery of stealing her cell phone.

None of Rowe's family or friends attended the bond hearing. Devine told the judge she has no verifiable home address or job.

Rowe indicated she had a lawyer, Charles Hall, but could not afford to pay him.

Sandy Rios, the 49-year-old daughter of Frank Rios and step-daughter of his wife, did not attend the hearing but said she'll attend future hearings.

She said Rowe had been to the Rios' home about a year before the murder.

"My father's house was not picked at random," Sandy Rios said. "She had been out there before. She was riding with a guy who came to borrow money from my Dad."

Sandy Rios said she wants justice for her father's death.

"They didn't just kill a little old Mexican," she said. "They killed someone's father, husband and the head of a large Mexican family. He was important to a lot of people."

Rowe is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Officials continue to pursue Stansbery.

According to his two MySpace pages, he calls himself a "bad-ass redneck" who loves trucks, fishing and hunting. He is originally from Iberia, Mo. but now lives in Clyde. He has a 3-year-old son and works as a general laborer. Stansbery last logged into the Web site on Monday.

RELATED STORIES

Woman charged in Green Springs beating death

Family and friends of murdered Green Springs man relieved by arrest