Cell phone snooping could lead to charges

Still no autopsy report more than two weeks after second exhumation.
Jessica Cuffman
May 15, 2013

Investigators are trying to determine if someone planted monitoring software on the cell phone of a woman loosely connected to the Jacob Limberios case.

Keri Lakner, 41, of Bay View, called Erie County deputies Sunday when her cell phone went on the fritz.

“She was using the phone, she was looking at the phone, all of a sudden, the phone just started to go blank,” Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said. “All the information started to be deleted out of it.”

Lakner is the mother of Brittany Bowers, one of three witnesses who were inside a Sandusky County home in March 2012, the night Jacob Limberios, 19, died of a gunshot wound to the head.

She and the other two witnesses told deputies Jacob shot himself, and Sandusky County officials quickly ruled it an accidental suicide.  

Lakner is also the mother of Kayleigh Bowers, who is the mother of Jacob’s daughter.

The Limberios family spent months urging Sandusky County officials to further investigate Jacob’s death, and when their efforts failed, the family hired forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht to conduct an autopsy. Wecht determined Jacob’s death was the result of homicide, not suicide.     

Tensions have been high this past year between the Limberios family and Sandusky County officials. The county recently ordered the second exhumation of Jacob’s body, and the Lucas County coroner conducted an autopsy, the results of which are pending.          

Erie County authorities now suspect two men are responsible for planting some type of listening software on Lakner’s phone. According to a deputy’s report, Lakner’s phone may have been accessed and compromised sometime late last week at the Castalia home of Jacob’s parents, Mike and Shannon Limberios, although the report does not indicate who was involved. 

Deputies have already interviewed one of the suspects, who provided information about the suspected listening technology. About two to three days worth of conversations or phone calls would have been monitored in that timeframe.  

On Monday, Erie County deputies sent Lakner’s cell phone to a Toledo police lab, where analysts determined software was installed on the phone to secretly listen to phone conversations or to turn the phone into a listening device that could pick up nearby conversations.   

If monitoring technology was installed on Lakner’s phone without her knowledge, the suspects could face state charges related to wiretapping or unauthorized use of property, both of which are felonies, Sigsworth said.

Deputies are still analyzing the findings from the Toledo police analysis, although ultimately it will be up to the Erie County prosecutor to decide on charges.   

In other developments, the Limberios family’s attorney, Dan McGookey, and Sandusky County officials have reached an agreement on what has been a sticking point for weeks.  The Lucas County coroner’s office wanted access to a tissue sample Wecht had obtained from Jacob’s body during the autopsy, but McGookey did not want to turn over his only piece of evidence. 

McGookey has since agreed to send photos of the sample to the Lucas County coroner’s office.  

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I agree. It sounds like Kayleigh's mom was at the Limberios's house and someone there jacked with her cell phone. Was not a good idea to have carried out even though the mother (also Brittany's mom) may have some information.

entitled to my ...

I know if this was my child, I would do whatever, legal or not, to find out the truth. I pray the Limberios family will find the answers they seek.
Until they do, they will never be able to move on with their lives. I don't know the family, but as a parent, I feel their pain.
The family deserves to know the truth, and I believe until they find that truth, they will not be able to move forward and grieve for their son.


If this was my kid the three witnesses would experience what waterboarding is all about and some period!!!


It's a good thing we're not ALL Marines, huh usmc21?

Julie R.

Just another issue that takes away from the seriousness of the real issue.


It seems to sabotage all the efforts made thus far.


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


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.

Truth or Dare

I find it interesting the investigation into the txt. message is final, yet no report has been issued/released. As well, the Fremont Law Dir. has no intentions of filing charges in regards to that "threatening txt. message", let alone the threats on the SR website over the weekend. True to form, no further details will be provided regarding either the txt. msg. or the threats the SR claims.

Two wrongs certainly don't make anything right. Nor does it change the fact of what SC failed to do and is still doing? Why no Autopsy Report as of yet?

Don't worry mommaC, we will continue to pray, and then some.


Thank you! Pray & sign the petition if anyone hasn't yet.. http://www.change.org/petitions/...
We are at 3298 as of now..


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


what I find interesting is that the county has basically been throwing the Limberioses and McGookey under the bus in terms of threatening them with obstruction, etc., and yet this is considered something heinous. It's Keri's word that her phone acted up after being there at the house...Truly? It is a little odd... did she give her phone to someone? I don't know about you folks, but I rarely give my phone to anyone - nor do I leave it laying about. I think something is rotten here and it CERTAINLY is NOT Mike and Shannon. All of this seems to be coming about in an attempt to shift the focus from the real issue here, which is: Who pulled the trigger of the gun that night? We already know it wasn't Jacob...


They know who did it. I'm not sure what kind of connection he had with the family outside of "trying to get justice" for Jake in his own way but I doubt he ever physically had her phone in his possession. Cell phones can be hacked the same way computers are, especially if there is Bluetooth. I took a cybercrime last semester and immediately turned off my Bluetooth after that course lol. She probably just associated her cell phone being hacked with the family because the person was posting "threats" on the register articles about the family in regards to her and another woman's cell phones, Facebook, etc. I agree, I don't believe this has anything to do with Mike or Shannon. I think this person saw something incriminating after accessing their information and threatened the women hoping they would come forward with the information voluntarily.


Krissy, it's unfortunate that this person had to meddle like this, I understand the intentions were good, but it was not well executed, sending threatening messages and/or texts, hacking a phone ..... Justice for Jake is all about fighting the inadequate investigation from Sandusky County and getting to the truth. By resorting to tactics that are legally questionable even illegal, just puts that person at SC Level. Not to mention SC gets an opportunity to look at this and use it as ammunition. No matter how frustrating/emotional/angry/disturbed someone feels about this, you can't let it be an excuse to do something immoral. It hurts the family rather than helps them.


I agree, it is unfortunate. The threats were definitely unnecessary, especially when anonymous stressed over and over not to threaten anyone. I think the family will be okay regardless of this incident since I highly doubt they were involved in the hacking. Anonymous was helping the family bring awareness to the situation, but just because they aren't on the case anymore doesn't mean the injustice being done to the family is any less. We just have to have faith that in the end justice will prevail despite the set backs.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.


Really register? I didn't post any personal information other than the name of the person who the article is about and I certainly didn't call her names or pick a fight, although if my comments are going to be deleted I might as well say what I think about her...


According to Matt Westerhold (On a comment about the Baby killer video) he said the Sandusky Register Staff does not monitor comments that they rely on the readers to report comments. Things that make you go hmmmmm


Well. excel must not have seen my comment below yet since it hasn't been deleted... lol


"Anonymous bowing out" that was a good laugh


Well, wasn't it you that this individual was "threatening" in these posts?

FRI, 05/10/2013 - 3:41PM
Tina K. (Excel) We know what side your'e on. Why do you insist on keeping the truth to yourself. We know you know. We are asking you to come forward with what you know.

dont blame me

One does what one has to do when the justice systems fails. That’s the way I feel about it too if it was my child.