An 18-month delay getting answers about the death of their 19-year-old son prompted a Castalia family to demand Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine investigate Sandusky County deputies and others.
DeWine promised when he took over three months ago his office would conduct a “thorough investigation.”
The family of Jacob Limberios said Tuesday they want DeWine’s investigation to include interviews with anyone possibly involved in Jake’s death, or in the destruction of evidence at the crime scene, and other missteps and serious flaws in the previous investigations by local officials.
They want DeWine to investigate “the conduct of the law enforcement officials and all those involved in the investigation into the manner, mode and cause of Jake’s death.”
“It is obvious we are not going to have a credible answer as to how Jake died without finding out exactly why these officials conducted themselves the way they did,” Limberios family attorney Dan McGookey said. “The two issues are inextricably intertwined. When the answers to one are discovered, the other will be resolved as well.”
DeWine assigned top prosecutors — Matt Donahue and Marianne Hemmeter — from his office to the investigation.
Donahue and Hemmeter did not respond to an inquiry from the Register on Tuesday. A spokesman from DeWine’s office said the investigation is ongoing.
“Prosecutors and investigators from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have been in touch with the Limberios family throughout our investigation, which is still continuing,” said Lisa Peterson Hackley, a spokeswoman for DeWine’s office.
County officials generally have been non-responsive to inquiries from the Register related to the Limberios shooting.
In an Aug. 22 email to DeWine’s team of investigators, McGookey asked them to interview Sandusky County officials and also provided them a list of individuals the family wants interviewed. McGookey also reiterated it had been nearly 18 months since Jake was killed, and three months since DeWine took over the investigation.
The list of eight names McGookey provided includes relatives of one witness and others who were allegedly at the home in the hours after Jacob was killed on March 2, 2012. That list included the following information:
•The grandfather, the step-grandmother and another relative of one witness, who all were in an SUV with her shortly after Jake was killed.
•That same witness’ father, who along with another man allegedly cleaned the home after deputies left the scene, wiping away physical evidence that might have existed.
•Three men who allegedly talked with another witness shortly after Jake was killed.
McGookey also provided investigators a partial list of the questions to which the family seeks answers. That list includes:
•Where was the coroner the night of Jake’s death?
•Why didn’t the coroner come to the scene?
•Why were the bags containing evidence gathered at the scene the night of Jake’s death marked; “Suicide” even before the three witnesses gave their statements at the station?
•Why wasn’t Detective Consolo, on call that night, not called to the scene, in contravention with the Department’s own policy?
•Why weren’t the witnesses separated?
•Why were the witnesses allowed to meet with family members outside the home while the Sheriff’s deputies were inside?
•Why was a witness allowed to change and later discard her clothes (apparently blood splattered) at the home that night, with the Sheriff’s consent?
•Why weren’t the witnesses administered drug and alcohol tests?
•Why wasn’t there a single question asked of the witnesses about their drug or alcohol use the day of Jake’s death?
•Why were a number of the Sheriff’s own standard operating procedures violated?
•Why were two men having a connection with one of the witnesses allowed to come into the home and completely whitewash the scene just hours after Jake’s death?
•Why was there no autopsy?
•Why did the Sheriff declare the investigation over, without having the gun tested, or the bullet retrieved from the ceiling of the home?
•Why did the BCI polygraphist who polygraphed two of the witness use a method of testing, known as the “Arthur” method, which was long ago discredited as being completely unreliable?
•Why did (Lucas County deputy coroner) Cynthia Beisser conclude that her autopsy findings were not inconsistent with Sandusky County coroner) John Wukie’s “suicide” ruling when she specifically found there was no gunpowder residue at the bullet entry wound site?