The suspect, Brian Jury, 38, of the 10700 block of Strecker Road, remains in the Lorain County jail on weapons charges out of the city of Lorain, where he was arrested Nov. 1, just hours after a passing motorist found the victim naked and bound on the side of Strecker Road in Groton Township. Erie County officials have issued rape and kidnap warrants for Jury, who will be handed off to them after his Nov. 12 arraignment.
Also on Friday, an Erie County grand jury indicted Jury on rape and kidnapping charges. A list of the precise charges won’t be available until early next week, Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said.
Sandusky police joined deputies from Erie and Geauga counties, and agents from the FBI’s Evidence Recovery Team, in searching Jury’s 15 acres of wooded property Friday. Investigators had executed a search warrant at the property Nov. 1, just hours after Jury’s alleged crimes came to light, but they opted to return with cadaver dogs this week because of troubling testimony the victim later shared with investigators.
“She said (Jury) repeatedly threatened to kill her and made a comment about burying her,” Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said. “Based on the totality of the facts we’ve learned so far, we felt it would be prudent to have that property examined more thoroughly, not only concerning this case and this victim, but any other potential victims as well.”
Lorain police arrested Jury at about 6 p.m. Nov. 1, four hours after the victim was found on the roadside. The woman told deputies she was walking in the Lorain area at about 9 a.m. that day when Jury drove up alongside her in his pickup and asked her if she wanted a ride. She recognized him from a previous encounter, so she accepted his offer, according todeputies.
Jury then used zip ties to bind the woman’s hands, and he held her at gunpoint as he drove from Lorain to the Strecker Road address. There, he allegedly raped her five times in a small camper on the property. When he left, the woman managed to bust open the door. She was naked, her mouth was gagged and her feet and hands were bound, but still she managed to roll to the road about 20 feet away, where a driver spotted her.
In Friday’s search, the cadaver dogs did not alert to any human remains on the property, although investigators noticed four depressions in the ground that warranted a closer look.
With help from Groton Township’s road foreman, investigators used a backhoe and a few shovels to uncover two locations where items were buried.
In the first hole they found some textbooks, clothing and purses. Deputies quickly identified the owners of those items and confirmed those people were not missing or dead.
In the second hole they found animal bones wrapped inside a plastic bag, Sigsworth said. Investigators were initially unsure what type of bones they were, so they sent photos to an FBI analyst, who determined they were not human, Sigsworth said.
“We’re well aware of the number of resources we used today,” Sigsworth said. “But given the violent nature of this offense, we felt the use of those resources was warranted. We’d be remiss if we didn’t investigate further.”
On Monday, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents and deputies examined the camper Jury allegedly used in last week’s crimes. The only noteworthy items found were the victim’s clothing and a partial roll of tape consistent with the woman’s bindings, Sigsworth said.
They did, however, find several more new rolls of the same tape in one of the property’s barns, Sigsworth said.
Agents also swabbed for DNA matter on a mattress and other areas inside the camper, Sigsworth said, but those lab results are not yet complete.
“This is a very, very serious and troubling crime,” Sigsworth said. “This kind of thing, I’d guess, this is every woman’s worst nightmare.”