Sandusky County detective details findings

Sandusky County sheriff's deputy Sean O'Connell met with a witness Thursday and talked at length about DNA, forensic evidence and discord at the Sandusky County sheriff's office. Click here to follow a link to hear a recording of the conversation.
Emil Whitis
Apr 6, 2013


Detective O'Connell talked at length Thursday about his conclusions in the investigation of the March 2012 death of Jacob Limberios during a meeting with Jacob's friend Brady Gasser. A recording of that conversation can be linked to from, or found at the Justice for Jake page.

Click here to link to the recording.

O'Connell provided some misinformation on the science, according to forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, when he talked to Gasser, who with friends started the Justice for Jake Facebook page and are planning a protest at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Sandusky County courthouse in Fremont. 

The Limberios family and supporters contend Sandusky County officials are refusing to properly review evidence that has been provided and have asked for an independent investigation by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. 

Wecht contends the tissue evidence from an autopsy he conducted on Jacob's body "incontrovertibly" shows that Jacob was not holding the gun when he was killed. He has challenged Sandusky County officials to offer a competent scientific analysis to disprove that conclusion. 

O'Connell showed a lack of understanding of basic pathology, DNA evidence and other issues, Wecht told viewers during a live segment of the local talk program "Between the Lines." He offered the following responses to O'Connell's comments during the program, which is available for demand viewing at

Here are some of the comments from that program in response to statements made by O'Connell: 

Cause of death

O'Connell: Jacob's death was the result of a self-inflicted gun shot wound; "a very unfortunate accident." 
Wecht: It was a homicide.

On DNA evidence

O'Connell: If DNA from the hair and blood found on the gun matches Jacob's we'll have strong evidence that it's a self-inflicted wound. 
Wecht: Blood and hair on the gun does not prove that.

O'Connell: We know who held the gun last. We can tell that by DNA evidence. 
Wecht: That's impossible. DNA doesn't overlap nor does it leave any sort of time signature.

On tissue evidence

O'Connell: Gunpowder burning, or stippling, to Jacob's scalp was "washed away" during the embalming process. 
Wecht: Stippling is like a tattoo and no amount of washing can take it away.

O'Connell: The evidentiary value of a tissue sample provided by Wecht was destroyed because it was stored in formaldehyde. 
Wecht: Formaldehyde didn't destroy any evidence. It's standard practice to store tissue samples in formaldehyde.

Click here to read past stories. 

Click here for more information about the planned protest at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Sandusky County Courthouse.

Get Sunday's Register to learn what else public officials said, and didn't say, about the latest findings in the criminal investigation of the death of Jacob Limberios and find out what O'Connell said about butting heads at the Sandusky County sheriff's department. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy a Register daily at a newsstand near you.



SCSO is a joke . for instance i had a deputy say the F word to me many time on an occasion when I informed the sheriff and his superior about the incident the sheriff apologized when I asked if the officer was given a reprimand and put in his file . The comment was they believed a verbal reprimand was enough and that it would not be documented.... gee how many other times are things not documented???????


Bottom line, these other teens involved just need to spill the beans, this case has gotten so out of control that when they find out the truth and the person responsible is up for punishment, they are not even going to think about taking it easy on them due to the extensive leg work they have caused. Not to mention whomever is responsible should have to work to pay back all involved for their time with this case, not to mention pay Jacobs family for the duration of their lives! This is despicable that human beings could have NO WORTH regarding another human being!


Sandusky County = MORONS!!! Pressure is on! Now the Coward officials are figuring more ways to cover up the cover up.. Sickening! Keep the pressure on Sandusky Register! Justice for Jake


The court hearing and associated protest is on Thursday the 11th; not Wednesday.


Detective O'connell obviously cannot use google. Stippling can't be washed away! It is tiny punctuate abrasions or burns on the skin or on the tissue inside of the wound depending on where the gun was fired. Fouling can be washed away, not stippling.
The website above has details and even visual aids. Perhaps someone should forward it to O'donnell so he knows what he's talking about next time.
Also, the comment that formaldehyde would ruin a tissue sample is probably the most ridiculous thing I've heard all week. The whole purpose of doctors using formaldehyde is to PRESERVE items. Anyone seen Silence of the Lambs? The head in the jar that was in the storage unit for numerous years... Preserved in formaldehyde. That head still had its makeup on for goodness sake. (I know it's just a movie).
Some bodies are kept for decades without decay because of formaldehyde. Lenin's body has been preserved and on display since the 1920's...


Is it possible that it actually was a self inflicted wound but not suicide? Sometimes gun play while a bit intoxicated can cause accidents. If this had been investigated properly these type of questions would have been answered a long time ago. The people in the room know what happened and really need to man up and tell the truth.


Of course it's possible


That's why the stippling not being present is important. No stippling indicates it was fired from a distance of over 24 inches. Unless you have a freakishly long arm you can not shoot yourself from that distance.


Good point! Is it possible someone else in the room was holding the gun but it was not murder? I really have not read up on the case but seems to me there are people that should have figured this out by now. It really isn't rocket science, it's forensics.

Random Thoughts

No stippling also could mean it was fired from less than an inch away. That's why it is important to know what was found inside the entrance wound. During the interview with Dr. Wecht, Emil read from the autopsy report which apparently says there was gunpowder residue inside the wound. Thick hair could also be a factor in stippling being absent. It sure would be nice to see the whole report.


If it was fired from less than an inch away there wouldn't be stippling, there would be searing. It would look like a thick black ring around the wound. If it were held firmly against the head while fired there would be a stellate shaped wound and likely a muzzle shaped burn around the wound. I agree, I would like to see the full report as well.

Kottage Kat

Whose gun?
Jake familiar with firearms?
Lots of questions still no feasible answers


It was Jakes gun and yes he was very familiar with firearms and had taken safety courses according to the family.

Random Thoughts

Matt/Emil - Please post the full autopsy report - the one you read from during the interview with Dr. Wecht, which is the key piece of evidence supporting the family's case


I have absolutely no problem with what the family is trying to do but they've received some bad advice. Attorney McGookey's strategy of "sueing first and asking questions later" has contributed to delaying this matter. It gives Sandusky County Officials a legitimate excuse not to talk about the case because they're being sued. They wouldn't have this excuse if Attorney McGookey had held off on filing a lawsuit. Secondly, if you need an expert opinion, hire someone with actual credibilty. Dr. Wecht is not well respected in his field and some have even called him a crackpot. Again, Attorney McGookey should have helped the family get a more reliable and respected expert instead of this guy who always seems to be more concerned about media attention than doing his job.


"Dr. Wecht is not well respected in his field and some have even called him a crackpot."

Many who have searched and found the truth were labeled as crackpots or wearing tin foil hats. Isn't 8 months long enough to try to get answers?
"For eight months, Jacob Limberios’ parents have battled Sandusky County officials to reopen what the family views as a botched investigation into Limberios' March 2 shooting death."

"The Sandusky County deputies left the shooting site that night without making measurements and sketches of the death scene. The officers also failed to recover the presumed fatal bullet lodged in the ceiling, or test the three witnesses for the presence of gunshot residue. The .357-Magnum was not processed for latent fingerprints, no one was asked to take a polygraph test, and the slug in the ceiling was not matched with bullets test-fired from the death scene revolver. In other words, there was no criminal investigation into this young man's sudden, violent death."

"In speaking to a local newspaper reporter in October 2012 about Limberio's death, Dr. Wecht said, "Even in the most remote county in America, this is a case that would require an autopsy. It's a no-brainer, not even a close call. It's a case that requires extensive investigation by homicide detectives. It requires the collection of all evidence, including the bullet that's still lodged in the ceiling."


I have no problem with anything you say, Centauri. My concern is that bringing in a contoversial person like Dr. Wecht will deflect away from getting to the long overdue truth that the family deserves. Bringing in Wecht is like brining the circus to town. I'm only suggesting that an expert with more credibility would have been better.


The family tried to ask questions for months before hiring McGookey. The reason they hired him was because they weren't being heard. They requested an autopsy, they requested an investigation and were told no. Ohio State University referred the family to Wecht, not McGookey...
If he were not respected he wouldn't have been asked to work on high profile cases. You want to complain about someone not doing his job, how about the coroner who didn't bother to look at the body before deciding a cause of death? At this point Dr. Wecht has far more credibility than Dr.Wukie or the Sandusky County Sheriffs Department. Detective O'Connell doesn't even know basic forensic evidence as shown by his remarks about formaldehyde and stippling, but he's trying to determine whether it was a suicide or homicide? Give me a break. Dr. Wecht sent them a tissue sample and told them to find their own expert, that they would find the same thing he did... Their response is that the evidence was destroyed by the formaldehyde. Dean Henry said from the beginning he didn't know if he was going to have the tissue examined. My guess is that it went into the trash right along with Will's blood spattered shoes.


My comment is directed to Dean Henry. What did you (Dean Henry) find to the allegations by Dr. Elsebeth Baumgartner of corruption in Ottawa County, Ohio? Show your findings Dean Henry! I will be watching you!

"The photo below shows a firing .357 Magnum Revolver and shows the Propellant Flame escaping from the Muzzle, Barrel Ports and Cylinder Gap. All these areas where the Propellant flames are escaping from will also be expelling Soot and GSR Particles as well."

Julie R.

Dr. Cyril Wecht is mentioned in a new book that just came out: Ann Rules's Crime Files: Vol.16. One of the stories pertains to the two strange deaths in Coronado, in which investigators ruled the mistress of a billionaire had committed suicide. Dr. Wecht was brought in on that case, too.

The book says that there are only a handful of esteemed forensic pathologists in the United States and they are much sought after by those dealing with seemingly unfathomable cases. One is a Dr. Michael Baden, who is the former chief medical examiner of New York City and the other is Dr. Cyril Wecht, who is the most experienced of all. It says that Wecht has been a board-certified forensic pathologist for more than 50 years and has personally conducted more than 17,000 autopsies and consulted on another 37,000 death cases. He also has testified as an expert witness in trials all over the world. Wecht also is the past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, is on the board of directors of the National Association of Medical Examiners and is a chartered diplomate of the American Board of Disaster Medicine.

Sure doesn't sound to me like Dr. Cyril Wecht is a crackpot!


I agree! Dr. Wecht has been the most professional person involved in this case outside of the family. Dean Henry is acting like a stubborn child and Dr. Wukie is pretending his psychic medical examining skills trump an actual autopsy done by a real forensics expert, yet Dr. Wecht's credibility is being questioned?


If I were sitting on a jury, I would have serious doubts about the credibilty of anyone who was indicted for more than 80 counts of theft in office and agreed to settle the case by repaying the county $200,000 and resigning his public position. Dr. Wecht's criminal history and noterity will deflect away from the search for the truth. A better expert should be used. In no way am I implying that the Sanbdusky County Officials didn't screw up this case. They most certainly did. But putting Dr. Wecht into it will not help the family get the justice they deserve. Bringing in Wecht is like bringing the circus to town.


This whole thing has been screwed up since the beginning. So many cover up's. You have a detective that needs to do more research before he opens his mouth. I feel he is part of the cover up. Dr wecht knows what he is talking about. A lot of things he said are true. I even researched what he said. Justice for jake keep up the good work plus you to register.hope DeWine steps in to help.