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.




My heart and prayers go out to all the loved ones. Had they not continually pursued just a fair ruling, this poor family would forever have wondered what what really happened. But now they know what really happened. The accountability of the professionals and friends involved is disturbing. I applaud the family, throughout their grief, for fighting for Jacob. I hope in time you are able to grieve fully, as you have been denied so far. God bless.

joshua206's picture

How inept can you be, not to look for gun powder burns in an autopsy?

I just shake my head in disbelief.

I feel so sorry for this family, they have been victimized many times.

First their son was murdered, then the county lets the murderer walk.

I refuse to call this travisty of justice an investigation.

I dont know where to begin, lets start with the Sheriffs office. These guys get paid? They let this boys killer(s) go free. I am sure they will blame the corornor but in the end it was their investigation. Speaking of the corornor, jeeze what a law suit waiting to happen. His inepitude knows no bounds. Here he totally botched the autopsy. Now he wants a second chance? OBCI, you should be ashamed. I am ashamed of you.

I feel badly for this family. They have experienced a great loss, then the county totally botches the inquest.

So now there is a killer on the loose.

Justice for Jacob, he sure has not had any yet.

Julie R.

How did they ever get away without doing an autopsy to begin with? One would think an autopsy would have been mandatory even if they thought it was an accident or suicide.


Great point!


Ohio law mandates that a autopsy be perforemed upon a suspicious death occurence.


Can they not get th eFBI involved? I bet they would get some answers!


Alot of ppl will be losing there job after this

Swamp Fox

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Wukie is very dirty in this. Why the attorney? If it is as simple as not doing his job, then admit it and move on, but the stalling and blocking tells me there is a huge coverup and a lot of people are involved in some high places.


That is a very handsome picture of Jake


Breaking News!

This case is very similar to the cover-up involving the murder of Krista Harris' former attorney, Steven L. Howland of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Steven Howland was Ms. Harris' key witness and attorney in the sham theft case brought against her by Erie County Prosecutor, Kevin Baxter, and Medina County Prosecutor, Dean Holman. See Case No. 2001-CR-094, State v. Krista Harris, In the Common Pleas Court of Erie County, Ohio.

Moreover,court documents evidences that Krista was falsely convicted of multiple counts of theft in violation of O.R.C. 2913.61(C)(1) and violations of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. and Ohio Constitution.

Furthermore, had Steven not been murdered he would have been able to testify at Harris' trial as a key witness!

Well, it's now obvious that Jacob Limberios had information that was damaging to someone in law enforcement.


Hey Buff, I'm still waiting for your response.


My lord! Some of you people are just drama hungry bums with no lives! You must just sit on your butt all day just waiting to start some kind of crap with people. I can guarantee if this were ANY of your families that this happened to, you would feel the same way Jacobs parents and family do! To me, I dont think this has ANYthing to do with money! They want answers or at least their sons death to be properly investigated, I see nothing wrong with that. I support them one hundred percent! Don't stop until you get your answers and may god be with you.


the limberios family are great people. they are not money hungry. as any parent would, they want to know the truth about their childs death. accidental suicide??? how does that work? accidental death? maybe. but accidental suicide? come stupid.


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up to I saw the receipt four $9465, I didnt believe that my cousin woz like they say trully bringing in money part-time from their laptop.. there neighbor has done this for only about 11 months and by now cleared the morgage on there cottage and bourt themselves a Mercedes. read more at, FAB33.COM