Sandusky Co. plans to dig despite family's wishes

Mike and Shannon Limberios are running out of time and options in their fight to protect their son’s body from a second exhumation.
Matt Westerhold
Apr 29, 2013

“I’m begging for help to stop this,” Mike said Friday. “I feel like we’re being raped and nobody’s doing anything about it.” 

On Tuesday, visiting judge Charles Wittenberg said he didn’t have the power to stop Sandusky County special prosecutor Dean Henry from digging up Jacob Limberios’ body.  Henry later announced plans to go ahead with a second exhumation on Monday. 

He did not, however, provide a time. 

Limberios family attorney Dan McGookey said Henry doesn’t have the power to order the body dug up. 

Since Jacob’s body is buried at Castalia Cemetery in Margaretta Township, Sandusky County officials would have to get permission from Erie County officials to proceed, McGookey said. 

The family sent a letter to Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter and Margaretta Township trustees on Tuesday, pleading with them to halt Henry’s attempts. 

“To say that we strongly oppose this decision would be an understatement,” Shannon and Mike Limberios wrote. “We respectfully request that our concerns be taken into consideration before our son is exhumed again.” 

Baxter, Margaretta Township’s legal counsel, wrote back Friday. 

“We cannot interfere in (Henry’s) pending criminal investigation,” Baxter wrote. “We have advised the (Margaretta Township trustees) to cooperate with the exhumation, as it is part of a criminal investigation, but only after Dr. Wukie has provided our county coroner with the basis and need for the exhumation of Jacob.” 

Baxter said he doesn’t think it’s proper to make a decision based on his opinion of the case, or how it was handled by Sandusky County. 

“There obviously were deficiencies early on in this case,” Baxter said. “Right now, we’re dealing with an exhumation request and whether there’s a good need or basis for that.” 

Based on a conversation he had with Lucas County corner James Patrick, Baxter said he suspects there is a good reason for a second exhumation, but he wants it in writing — with Sandusky County coroner John Wukie’s signature. 

Still, Margaretta Township owns Castalia Cemetery. The trustees — Timothy Riesterer, Joe Bias Jr. and Gary Pooch — control that ground. 

Mike Limberios, a lifelong resident of Margaretta Township, appealed to them Friday. 

“I worked with Gary (Pooch) for years,” he said. “We’ve done community projects together.” 

Pooch said he will have to go with Baxter’s legal advice. 

“We’re just going to go and do what the prosecutor tells us to,” Pooch said. “The prosecutor is our legal counsel and we’ve got to listen to what he says.” 

For Mike, letting a second exhumation take place is not an option. 

“What kind of a man would I be if I don’t make a stand?” Mike said. “How am I going to be recorded to (my granddaughter, Jacob’s daughter) if I just sit back and let this happen?”

Mike said he has people watching and waiting for the order of exhumation to come through. And when it does, he’ll be at the cemetery. 

“Nobody’s standing up and doing the right thing,” Mike said. “It’s a shame that it all has to be balanced around everybody’s political career.” 

Henry refused to comment.

Comments

mamaC

I don't think the family is asking for too much. Explain to them why their son needs exhumed again Dean? What can his body provide you or Sandusky County with now? It's like your rewarding Sandusky County for messing up on March 2 2012 with giving them a second chance only 14 months later! Funny how Dean Henry has comments for Fremont newspaper only...

reporter54

While another exumation seems to be over the line, it might determine that it was not suicide and end up in more justice for Jacob. At one point, I thought that's what the family wanted but apparently they just want to let Jacob rest in peace. It certainly has been a confusing and complicated case, which no family should have to go through.

Ithink

Reporter54- If you have followed the story from the beginning, you would know that Mike and Shannon BEGGED Sandusky County to do an autopsy. They called, wrote, emailed and physically went to their offices only to be IGNORED. That is when they had their son exhumed and an autopsy done. They called Ohio State University and asked them to do it. OSU referred them to Dr Wecht. They didn't go out seeking a master-at-his-trade, but THANK GOD they got one in Dr Wecht. He preserved tissue samples for WHOMEVER wanted to examine them. Sandusky County want no part of these said tissue samples. Instead, to buy time to get their lame ducks in a row, they want to disinter Jacob once again. Anyone with a soul would see how traumatic that could be for this already victimized family. Let's dig up your mom or dad, or God-forbid, your child unnecessarily and see how it feels.

Julie R.

Like.

John Harville

I had hoped his parents' faith was strong enough to understand that Jacob ALREADY is at peace. God knows the truth and Jacob is with God.
Jacob has left the body.
Jacob is not in that grave.

mhs parent

Wow, you are making some pretty HUGE assumptions about people that you obviously do not know.

TrollingRageind...

Your god is so great yet he/she/it lets all this happen. Wow, what a loving god!

mrite

I have been following this for awhile. It is interesting that alot of people on here are whining about injustice this and injustice that.

Dean Henry is trying to get some resolution with this case and trying to do his job. So, quit whining and let him do his job. Apparently he is trying to right a wrong.

mhs parent

You seriously have no idea mrite what this family has gone through. People are not whining, they are giving Jacob a voice because he is not here to do it himself, they are sticking up for a family who has been put through the ringer because of 1st Sandusky County, now with Dean Henry leading the way. Dean likes to make it seem like the Limberios family are not cooperating, when it is in fact him who has not cooperated. If Dean Henry is about trying to get some resolution to this case then why has he yet to have the sample from the 1st Autopsy tested. Sandusky County isn't interested in finding real answers, they are only interested in their next move to brush the truth even further under the carpet.

mrite

Sometimes, mhs parent, to make sure things are done right, under the microscope that this paper has wrongly put upon him, it is worthwhile to take a second look. we all know that the family acquired the services of a "hired gun" which places more scrutiny on this. Sit back and let him do his job. It should be obvious by now that Mr Henry is running his course not anybody else's.

Ithink

mrite- How wrong you are. They begged for an autopsy and were led to this so-called 'hired gun'- who I am pretty sure knows how to do an autopsy. "Sit back and let him do his job"--how callous of you.

mhs parent

Obviously we have a difference of opinion. For me this is not just a story that I have been following, this is personal. I have known the Limberios family for as long as I can remember. Mike and Shannon and the rest of the family has been living this everyday for the past 14 months. They have been ignored and lied to for so long, its hard to "sit back and let Mr Henry do is job" as you say because frankly I do not trust him or anyone in Sandusky County. Mike and Shannon have not just asked, they have pleaded, time and time again, explain to us why this 2nd autopsy is so important, explain to us why the sample from the first autopsy was not tested, these pleas have gone not only unanswered, they have been ignored. The Register did not put Dean Henry under a microscope, he put himself there. Obviously we differ in opinion and that's okay, honestly I respect your opinion. However I do take offense to being called a whiner because I choose to stand up and fight for what I feel is right.

John Harville

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

voice of fremont

Shame on you for bringing up the tragic death of people that had nothing to do with this case!! The facts are the Register has a anti law enforcement agenda and it is getting old.

Krissy3

Wecht cut the entrance wound from the body. Sandusky County already has half of the sample of tissue from the body. Wecht sent it to them so they could have whoever they chose examine it. There is no reason for them to dig up this body again when there is no evidentiary value in it. Again, THEY ALREADY HAVE THE EVIDENCE! They haven't bothered to have it examined yet and in fact, Dean Henry said when he received the tissue sample that he didn't even know if he would. O'Connell said that the tissue sample was ruined by the formaldehyde that was supposed to preserve it. Who knows what they actually did with the tissue sample, but all they are trying to do is pretend they actually did their jobs... Too little too late Sandusky County.

Here's a link to Wecht's affadavit regarding the body and tissue sample
http://www.4shared.com/office/F-...

John Harville

Jacob isn't 'there'. Let the body tell its story.

mhs parent

The bullet entry wound has already been removed, and a tissue sample was shared with Sandusky County. Sandusky County has not even sent those samples to be examined. Knowing this what purpose will it serve to exhume Jakes Body again?? The only story a 2nd autopsy would tell is that yes in fact there is not tissue left to examine, yes the bullet entry wound has been removed.

Random Thoughts

If they do another autopsy, hopefully they will be thorough and examine not only the sample already provided by Dr. Wecht, but also any sample(s) that Dr. Wecht still has in his possession.

mhs parent

I just don't understand why they haven't already tested these samples?? Why exhume Jake's Body for a second time just to find what they already have been told, the entry wound has already been removed during the 1st autopsy and then shared with Sandusky County exhuming his body again serves no purpose. Makes no sense to me.

Centauri

My question is was the entry wound cut away already? I doubt that any additional evidence will be found. The powers that be in Sandusky County, Ohio already has the evidence. Please let this young man be at peace. You Sandusky County, Ohio powers that be had your chance when the family of this young man begged you to do an autopsy. It is too late to CYA.

mhs parent

It is my understanding that yes the entry wound has been removed and Sandusky County was given half the sample that was removed, which they have yet to test. So not sure what their angle is but I am sure your right it has something to do with an attempt to CYA.

John Harville

My question is who has the bullet that reports indicate the Sandusky County officers didn't even bother to remove from the ceiling.

mhs parent

It is my understanding that Sandusky County did finally retrieve the bullet.

John Harville

Jacob isn't 'there'.
I hope none of the persons speaking here profess even minimal faith or religion.
Jacob isn't in the coffin.
Jacob's spirit has left the building.
This whole spectacle (which it needn't be) is important to discover, finally, who is responsible for the Spirit taking flight.
If it was MY child, I would move Heaven and Earth to get THAT answer. And after this second exhumation and exploration, I would petition to have the body cremated so the parents finally can rest.
Jason isn't 'there'.

Ithink

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

mhs parent

Couldn't agree more ithink!!!

Gardenman

This family seems like it has gone through so much over these months. It's hard to think how have endured all the pain that just does not stop...it keeps going on and on. Seems so much has to do with folks in positions of responsibility that are not very responsible.

I just wish the all the parties up to now were taken out of the mix and the Ohio Attorney General took over the case. Its getting more clear with each passing day that Sandusky County can not handle this case and it needs to have the state come in and take over.