Forensic expert: Limberios death was homicide

Manner of death: homicide. It's a bombshell and the final word from renowned forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who after reviewing the evidence determined 19-year-old Jacob Limberios could not have shot himself on March 2.
Emil Whitis
Jan 29, 2013

It's also a direct contradiction to Sandusky County coroner John Wukie's confusing opinion that Jacob accidentally committed suicide.  

During an autopsy of the body, Wecht found no gunpowder burns on or inside Jacob's head.

"Examination of the exposed scalp surrounding the entrance wound revealed no evidence of stippling or gun powder residue," Wecht stated in a Dec. 12 report, which the Register obtained this past week. "This shot would have been fired beyond a distance of 24 inches."

Wecht also noted the bullet passed through Jacob's head at a downward angle. It's all the more confounding, given that investigators had recovered the fatal bullet from the ceiling inside the home where Jacob died.

Stated Wecht's report: "I find it extremely difficult to envision a scenario in which Jacob Limberios could have shot himself either accidentally or with suicidal intent. Accordingly, it is my professional opinion, based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the manner of death in this case should be considered a homicide."

Wecht's letter effectively throws the Jacob Limberios case into a new dimension – or at least a place where Sandusky County officials would likely rather not go.   

Just hours after Jacob was shot and killed inside a County Road 294 home, Wukie issued a coroner's report listing the cause of death as "suicide. Gunshot wound to head. Deceased shot self in head, may not have realized gun was loaded."

Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer and a few deputies had been at the scene that night, too, but they all left without collecting the bullet from the ceiling. About eight months later, sheriff's Detective Sean O'Connell recovered the bullet.

Three people were inside the house with Jacob that night, and they all told deputies Jacob shot himself.  

Jacob's body was found lying on the living room, a .357 handgun nearby.

His family pleaded with Sandusky County officials to conduct an autopsy, but they refused, saying it was closed.

In late September the family paid to exhume their son's body and send it to Pittsburgh, where Wecht could conduct a full autopsy.

The findings are nothing short of astonishing.

"It's just one of many terrible ironies in this case," said Dan McGookey, the Sandusky attorney hired by Jacob's parents, Mike and Shannon Limberios. "Nine months ago we were begging for an autopsy. Now that we got an answer they didn't want, they want to exhume the body for a second time."

Wukie's state-appointed attorney, Dean Henry, now wants a second opinion — he said he's just doing what any attorney would do, seeking their own expert for an independent opinion.

"They bought and paid for their expert … (and) they got the results they paid for," Henry said.

He said he's merely seeking the same opportunity.

On Thursday, Mike Limberios withdrew his support for a second autopsy until the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation completes its forensic testing of the gun.

"I've already got my answer," Mike said. "I know what didn't happen — my son didn't shoot himself that night at that house."

Henry said he has, for now, put the brakes on his plan for a second exhumation.  

"I understand the family is frustrated," Henry said. "But frustration isn't going to get us where we need to be.

"There's more than one way to do this," Henry said. "I was trying to do it in a way that was courteous and respectful. I'm going to discuss the matter with (Wukie)."

About three months ago, Sandusky County deputies sent the .357 Magnum to BCI for ballistics and finger-print testing. In about 90 days since, BCI hasn't returned any results, McGookey said.

A recent publication printed by the Ohio Attorney General's Office said the average processing time for a gun is about 16 days.

McGookey said he withheld Wecht's homicide ruling from the Register as a sign of goodwill to Sandusky County officials and investigators. He was hoping investigators would get things done, so he wouldn't have to add extra pressure from the media.

But that goodwill ended this past week when McGookey emailed the Register copy of Wecht's report.

McGookey and others had said all along that Wukie's report on Jacob's death made no sense.   

Wecht, in fact, called it an "oxymoron" — there's no way to die of suicide unintentionally.  

Even Henry agreed there's a problem: "Yes, I see a contradiction," he said.

McGookey plans to subpoena the three witnesses, Wukie and Sheriff Kyle Overmyer for depositions in February.

 

Comments

sanduskysteve

So, Swampy, in your opinion, Police never lie, and you believe everything they tell you without question. Even if they do no investigation - even if they don't even extract evidence from the scene, even if they are in a big hurry to cover something up. Figures.

PerkinsBlueStreak

why is everyone assuming they're after money? the family obviously suspected foul play or they wouldn't have taken this case as far as to exhume their sons body.

OMGreally

To me it just seems like there was a big rush to get the body in the ground and make it all go away, no disrespect to his family. I would be curious to know if any of those kids that were there with him that night have family in the "network". Gotta love small towns and small town politics...

OMGreally

@SwampFox all "experts" are that way...just like the coroners "expert" will be a "hired gun" the problem is, he is now going to have to do the work the coroner himself should have done himself. Plus, most "experts" aren't going to take the chance or ruining their rep by lying on a stand, because these "experts" make a living testifying and they wont want to ruin their money train. It isn't like there are a group of experts sitting around thinking Sandusky County murder/suicide investigations are their money train...

OMGreally

and for the record I dont know the family or anyone involved..just looking at it from the outside...

Swamp Fox

"But that goodwill ended this past week when McGookey emailed the Register copy of Wecht's report". Why the Register and not the Fremont News Messenger which is located in Sandusky County where this occurred? This quote from a recent article in the News Messenger "Wecht declined to comment for this story. The Limberioses’ attorney, Daniel McGookey of Sandusky, did not return a message seeking comment". If someone wants to put pressure on public officials do it where they have to be elected, not an adjoining county unless you are media shopping for a favorable slant.

Cowboy

And those three thought they were off scott free! Let's see who the first one is to take a plea and save themself.

jamo

Still too many questions. Was there gun shot residue on Jacob's hand? If the bullet went in at a downward angle, how did it end up in the ceiling? Was more than one shot fired from the gun that night?

bmgasser

Because his head was tilted. There was gun shot residue on all of their hands. Yes

Kottage Kat

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.
Praying for all. Stay strong for Jake you are his voice.
God speed on your journey

Kat

EZOB

If I remember correctly, the Family was begging for an autopsy and now that they go and have it done on their own the Coroner and those in charge of the investigation call this autopsy false. They had every chance to do their autopsy first. I use the term "Investigation" loosely because it sure lacked professionalism by any standards. Now BCI is at 90 days when it normally takes 16 days. Those in charge automatically bring the negative thoughts when they don't follow the "Norm". I appologize for saying this but Had He died in an accident you'd already have the results, alcohol and drug content, who was at fault etc.

Ellis dee

Hope the truth comes out soon. Can't imagine going through all of this and not find a definite answer

TRISTINPRUITT

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE ACCUSING KAILEIGH AND HIS FAMILY OF WANTING MONEY YOU SHOULD BE ASSHAMED! THIS IS RIDICILOUS! I KNOW HER PERSONALLY AND I YOU ALL ARE HORIABLE! WHAT IF THIS WAS YOUR BOYFRIEND, CHILDS FATHER, MOTHER, GIRLFRIEND, WIFE, HUSBAND...ANY FREAKING ONE CLOSE TO YOU AND YOU KNEW IN YOUR HEART THAT THAT WAS NOT HOW THEY DIED THAT THEY DID NOT COMMIT SUICIDE..WOULDNT YOU DO ALL IN YOUR POWER TO FIND THE TRUTH THE FACTS? HOW DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO EXPLAIN TO HIS DAUGHTER THAT SORRY DADDY KILLED HIMSELF? HOW DO YOU THINK THAT POOR LITTLE GIRL WILL FEEL GROWING UP WHEN SHE IS OLD ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND AND THINKS HER DADDY KILLED HERSELF OR HER DADDY DIDNT LOVE HER ENOUGH TO STAY HERE WITH HER? ITS BOLOGNA! THEY KNOW THE TRUTH AND JUST WANT IN IN WRITING FOR THAT LITTLE GIRLS SAKE NOT FOR MONEY! AND YOU WOULD FEEL THE SAME WAY TOO STOP JUDGING NOT EVERYONE IS OUT FOR MONEY. THEY ARE GOOD HONEST PEOPLE AND JUST TRYING TO DO THE RIGGHT THING FOR THE DARN BABY!

AND PS I DONT CARE ABOUT MY PUNCTUATION GROW UP AND GET A LIFE IF YOU DONT HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

Dont Worry Be Happy

You go girl!!!!

WhatTheHeck

Shame

hbowers

For those that think this family is out for money, are you kidding? If your loved one died under highly suspicious circumstances, could you live with NOT knowing what really happened for the rest of your life? I know I couldn't.

TRISTINPRUITT

KAYLEIGH I LOVE YOU <3 AND I HOPE YOU AND YOUR LITTLE PRINCESS AND THE REST OF HIS FAMILY FIND OUT THE TRUTH SO HIS SOUL CAN FINALLY REST IN PEACE . I do not know what you all are going through but I have lost someone very close to me as well and I do know everyone deals with death in different ways... however I couldn't imagine what all of you are dealing with its a total different type of grief. and no one on here has any business commenting negatively because 100% none of them know what any of you are going through so just try to ignore their useless hurtful comments hun. as you can see they are all hiding behind some "secret" name and cant comment with their real name so feel they can say stupid things. had they have a real name like you and I and some others im sure they wouldn't be saying the things they are saying. they wouldn't want to own up to their stupidity.

you worry about the facts and finding justice for your princess' daddy :) she deserves it. you deserve it. you all do. I hope you find peace and can begin to finally grief in the correct ways instead of sitting back asking questions youll soon have answers . its always going to hurt believe me, but it will get easier. I promise hun. may take time everyone is different but in time your own time you will begin to understand more and have your closure. LOVE YA !!

Perkins2060

Why wasn't the body sent to Toledo like Baxter does in Erie County for everything?

luvblues2

Ummm yeah...why didn't Sandusky Co. send him to Erie Co. so he could be sent to Toledo. Good question.

@Perkins2060. You don't read much?

Perkins2060

Why not be like our paid coroner and send to Toledo? Fair question.

mhs parent

My heart goes to Jakes Family and close Friends. I pray that those involved finally come forward with the TRUTH because the TRUTH is NOT stressful, the TRUTH shall set you FREE!! Lies on the other hand are very STRESSFUL, because once you start telling them one lie leads to another, and to another and before you know it you don't remember the last lie you told so then you contradict your self with new lies. The Truth is so much easier. Just an observation from someone looking in from the outside.

To those who have made comments that this family is looking for a payday ect ect......... Mike and Shannon are not like that, all they want is the Truth!! As Jakes Parents they are certainly entitled to the truth.

So Sandusky County Officials, PLEASE stop playing games and do your JOB! And to the people who where witnesses the night Jacob died, PLEASE come forward with the whole TRUTH. The Truth from you would stop all this Craziness once and for all, Jake could then finally rest in Peace and one Day when little Ella is old enough to really understand, she will have REAL answers as to why her Daddy is not here. Is there anyone more important than this Beautiful Little Girl??

Much love to the family, I do believe that all our Prayers will be answered and the Truth will come to light.

RUKidding

Since Dr. Wecht has been involved why not put more heat on to the small town corruption system and send this story to one of the Headline news shows like Nancy Grace. This is certainly turning more and more into a story that she usually eats up on her show. Really put the spotlight on it.

Perkins2060

No one watches CNN or Nancy Grace. Fox News would get the word out.

sanduskysteve

FNC??? I love it - they would report it AFTER they twisted it up into small unrecognizable pieces like they do everything. In the end, they would say Sandusky County is right.

bmgasser

It has been submitted to Dr. Phil. Dr. Wecht was a previous guest on the show

Kottage Kat

Excellent suggestion

TuffNutts2011

Now one of Jacobs friends is about to go to prison for what was probably an accident. Im sure thats not the way Jacob would have wanted it. Too late to take it back now.

bmgasser

No one their was his friend. That is factual. That was the first time he ever even met the two male witnesses

bmgasser

There*

hbowers

Maybe the witnesses should have come forward with the truth from the beginning. They caused a mess for themselves and I'm not sympathetic for anyone but the Limberios family, Kayleigh, and little Ella.

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