April 7, 2022

Columbiana Counties New Cold Case Task Force

This press release from the Columbiana County Prosecutor's Office made me so happy! I have known Detective Dave Talbert for years and honestly believe that there is no one better suited for this task. He has supported myself, the families, and CCFHV since 2006 in everything we have tried to do. He is NOT a politician. He is a Detective that understands more than most what it is like to be a family member of an unsolved murder. 
I expressed believing he should be involved with Vito before the election as did others and was so happy to hear he accepted the position. 
I have met with Troy Walker but do not know him well. He did strike me as someone very capable and definitely interested in solving these cases for both the families and the community. I am really excited about this! I believe if there is any hope at all of solving these cases, this task force, along with the new detectives at the Sheriff Department, will do everything within their power to get the job done. 
As ALWAYS.... if you know anything about any of our cases, please reach out to the Task Force. 

(Press release and photo are from the Columbiana County Prosecutor's Facebook page). 

Columbiana County, Ohio Prosecutor's Office

This marks an unprecedented investment in cold case investigations in Columbiana County. See below for full press release details.
Today, Columbiana County Prosecutor Vito J. Abruzzino announces the creation of the Columbiana County Cold Case Task Force within the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney and in direct coordination with the Columbiana County Major Crimes Task Force.
Leading the efforts of the task force will be Chief Investigator Troy Walker of the Prosecutor’s Office and Detective David Talbert of the Salem, Ohio Police Department. The task force will focus on unsolved Columbiana County homicides.
In working with local chiefs of police and the Sheriff over the last year, the Prosecutor’s Office developed a ranked list of cold case homicides, prioritizing those that have the most evidence available with the greatest promise of being resolved.
Recently, the Prosecutor’s Office successfully prosecuted the cold case of Melinda Todd, who was murdered in 2012. Kevin Kirby, now in prison for the murder, was sentenced to 20-years to life in that case.
“The Columbiana County Commissioners have resoundingly supported my vision for the office and the importance I place in solving cold cases. Without their unwavering support, such efforts would be impossible due to the high costs associated with investigating these types of cases. Special thanks are also in line for Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott and Columbiana County Sheriff Brian McLaughlin who have agreed to support the efforts via their involvement with the Major Crimes Task Force.”

Those having any information regarding a past homicide in Columbiana County, please call our Prosecutor’s Office Tip Line at 330-420-1050. 

February 22, 2022

Suicide/Homicide in Columbiana County

 There has been a lot of speculation about this case. I am posting only what is available and has been released by the officials. 

This article appeared in the Evening Review. 

Suicide leads deputies to murder scene

LISBON — The murder of a man in a home outside of Lisbon on Sunday and a suicide outside of East Palestine both remain under investigation by the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office Monday and may be linked to each other, as well as a murder from the past.

Sheriff Brian McLaughlin said Monday deputies were notified first of the suicide, after a man found an abandoned vehicle down Jimtown Road in Unity Township and reported there was a dead man inside. A handgun believed responsible for the suicide was found there.

McLaughlin said the vehicle belonged to Nick Ieropoli.

When deputies responded to Ieropoli’s home at 10984 state Route 45, a second man was found deceased and that one is believed to have been a homicide.

This was not the first time deputies have been called to that home outside of Lisbon. In August of 2008, deputies responded to the home for another homicide, the shooting death of Sherry Ieropoli. That case was never solved or at least never saw charges filed.

The murder of Sherry Ieropoli was on the short list of four homicides that former Sheriff Ray Stone said he was sending to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations in 2016, in hopes of solving them by getting someone else take another look at them. However, at the time BCI said the county could only send two and the two chosen were Melinda Todd and William S. Young Jr. The Todd investigation ended in the conviction of Kevin Kirby in October of 2021.

At the time of the murder of his mother, Jesse Ieropoli was 17 years old and investigators said the only people home were her husband Nicholas Ieropoli and her son, Jesse. During that initial investigation former county Prosecutor Robert Herron had said Sherry Ieropoli’s son was involved in her shooting.

McLaughlin said the sheriff’s office had recently set up a meeting with the Columbiana County Prosecutor’s Office of Vito Abruzzino about the Sherry Ieropoli murder. The two offices have been making an effort to take another look at some of the past unsolved murders in the county. McLaughlin said the purpose of that meeting was to “do a freshen up” on the evidence from the case and consider whether there was enough to proceed with prosecuting it.


January 14, 2022

 The Prosecutor and I have sat down several times discussing our unsolved cases. He told me when I met him for the first time that he would bring our cases to light and wanted me to know, personally, that he will not forget my family or any of the other families and will do his best to get some of these cases solved. So far, he has kept his promises where the cases are involved. 

This is the first of a series of ads he is running on Facebook for the month of the anniversary of each unsolved victims' passing. You can also check out the Prosecutor's Facebook page 

PLEASE!! If you have any information, call the Tip Line (you can remain anonymous) or the Police Department listed in each ad, and even if you have given the information to previous Detectives/Prosecutor's, etc., remember that we have all NEW people that may or may not have received your information so please call and give it to them again. 

SOMEBODY KNOWS SOMETHING about each and every one of our cases. 

Today, January 14, we remember Mr. Irvin Keefer of Glenmoor who was murdered in an apparent robbery of his business on this date in 1976.
While decades have passed, this case is not "closed." Anyone with information regarding the homicide should contact St Clair Township Police at 330.385.3585 or our office's tip line at 330.420.1050.
Please keep Irvin and his family in your thoughts and prayers today.
(Photo courtesy of CCFHV)

January 7, 2022

Let's talk about human trafficking


I came across this site that I think you may find interesting. 

Human Trafficking is a booming industry but there are a lot of myth's associated with it. It is very real and in our communities, yes, even here in Columbiana County. It happens everywhere and it is important to understand the red flags if you believe someone may be a victim of trafficking. 

Truck drivers need to pay close attention and are often witnesses to another trucker engaged in trafficking. 

I was contacted by Jacob Bryant who worked very hard on this project to design information to keep people informed. Please check it out here.

                                                                                                  Photo credit (Trucking and Human Trafficking (lanierlawfirm.com)

How to Report Human Trafficking if You Think You See It

If you see signs of human trafficking, you should never try to deal with it independently. Instead, report it by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888. A single phone call can go a long way toward creating significant change for the victims of human trafficking. You can also visit the National Human Trafficking Hotline website to learn more about reporting signs of human trafficking at truck stops across the United States.

Try to collect what information you can about human traffickers, from their vehicle to their appearance. Do not, however, approach traffickers directly. You should not engage in commercial sex acts or other behaviors that could place you in danger, even to gather more information.

(photo credit) This blurb was taken directly from this site and there is much more information provided here if you are interested. Please check it out. 

December 13, 2021

Sorry for the delay in posting...

 I apologize for not posting anything new for awhile. I ended up with Covid 19 November 12th and did very little except sleep. I am back now feeling much, much, better but still have an overwhelming schedule with work and school and holiday, etc. 

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Scott Peterson gets a new sentence

 Interesting development in the Scott Peterson case. His sentence was changed from Death to life in prison but the interesting part is that he may be getting a new trail. No matter what you believe about the death penalty, this has been a heated debate since Laci first went missing. I followed this case obsessively on Court TV from morning til night and watched the entire trial. My opinion is that he is GUILTY. 

He is a douchebag, for sure, but many people believe he was railroaded by the Modesto Police Department and that they flat-out refused to consider any other possibilities. 

"According to New York Post, the judge sentenced Peterson to life in prison with no parole, taking the death penalty off the table. He received an additional 15 years for Connor’s death. Last year, the court overturned his death sentence after a jury misconduct allegation. He has yet to receive a new trial date." 

    This case and my life have an interesting connection. When Michael was killed, I didn't know what to do, I mean, it's not like there is a handbook or anything. I remembered the number of the Carole Sund Carrington Foundation that constantly flashed across the screen during Scott's trial and called them to ask for guidance. I was fortunate enough to talk to an amazing woman named Shelly Streeter whose family was murdered by Cary Stayner and she not only told me what to do, but also requested from the board a $5000 reward to be set up for Michael to incise anyone with information in his case to come forward. 

    Keep in mind that they get thousands of requests from all over the United States and it was a long-shot but the board voted to give us the money and one of the board members was Sharon Rocha, who is Laci Peterson's mother. That was really serial to me because I, like so many other people, was so obsessed with her daughter's murder. 

    Sharon believes with her whole heart that Scott killed her daughter and that is good enough for me. 

    Stay tuned to this, because I believe, unfortunately that this POS will get a new trial and Laci's family will have to relive all of this again. My heart breaks for them. I cannot imagine.... 

Information wanted in the Sam Little Case

 The Cleveland Police Department is looking for new information in the Samuel Little Case. They are trying to find more of his victims and can use your help. Sam Little was known to be one of the most prolific serial killers in history. 

Please read this information here. New Details Released in Unsolved Samuel Little Murders | Department of Public Safety (texas.gov) and if you can identify any of these victims, please contact the Cleveland Police Department. 

October 28, 2021

Grief After Murder

 I came across this website Grief After Murder, and found this to be some really good information. 

Grief after a Murder

The grief of murder may be even more difficult to deal with than loss from a disease because the answer to “why” is always a third party. It is important for people to understand that gradually, in your own time, you can begin to find some solace with what has happened. In these situations, such as murder, it is vital to understand we have a legal system, not necessarily a justice system. For some, the only justice would be to have their loved one back. Acceptance is a process that we experience, not a final stage with an end point.

Here are some tips to help with the grieving process after a murder:

 Those who have lost a loved one due to natural causes may not understand all the complexities of a loss from a murder.
  •  Murder has its own deeper level of denial and shock. The event is unbelievable, unexpected, tragic and a crime, all at once.
  •  You may feel anger longer and deeper than from other deaths. Find constructive ways to let your anger out. And give yourself lots of permission to be angry. A horrible injustice has been done to your loved one, family, friends and the world.
  •  Look for forgiveness on your time zone, not others. Forgiveness comes from within, not from a “should forgive” place. When friends tell you the stories of how a victim’s family found peace, just know they are in pain because they see you in pain.
  •  Grief after murder has many expressions; our grief is as unique as a finger print. Some may want to get involved in the legal case, some may not. Others may want to face the murderer, others may not.
  •  Know that not finding the murderer will often cause complex and unresolved grief. Of course it will be harder to find peace in a world where your loved one was killed and the murderer still walks free.
  •  Murder is especially horrifying because another person’s actions took an innocent life. The idea that the tragic loss of a loved one can be determined by another person’s decision is devastating. It can also be incomprehensible that it can be a random act. The perpetrator may not be known to the victim or vice versa. The shock of losing someone to murder takes hold immediately and leaves family members totally bewildered.

Moody Murder Trial Ends

 Special Prosecutors from the Attorney General's Office ensured a conviction in the murder of Destiny Moody after only 2 1/2 hours after the jury went out to deliberate. Haywood was found guilty for murder, tampering with evidence and having weapons under a disability. 

 Terrence Haywood will be sentenced on November 3rd. 

Haywood had threatened her many times before he murdered her and she had apparently told friends that if anything ever happens to her, he will be responsible. You can read more here.

Her 6 year old son also testified here.

Photo Credit: Morning Journal/Deanne Johnson Lt. Marsha Eisenhart points out the location of the apartment of Destiny Moody and the alley where the murder weapon was found as Christian Stickan of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and defense attorney Dennis McNamara (right) hold the map up. Behind them on the screen is a photo of the murder weapon in the gutter.

October 17, 2021

Melinda Todd Murder Trial is Over

 This may have been the quickest murder trial I have ever seen. As I stated, I was in the courtroom for the entire morning and when we broke for lunch, I left to fulfill other obligations and was looking forward to being in court next week for the defense to present their case. 

I was told later today that after lunch, the defendant, Kevin Kirby, agreed to a plea deal by offering a guilty plea and agreeing to being sentenced right away. Melinda's family wanted it over. They were allowed to give their victim impact statements and then it was done. 

He was sentenced to 20 years to life. 

October 15, 2021

Todd Trial Continues


Today I had the privilege of observing the Kirby trial for most of the morning and have to say, it was very interesting. If you have never observed a murder trial, and are able to, I highly recommend it. You will learn some interesting facts. I will be returning next week to see more. 

You can read the latest from yesterdays paper here.

I have sat in on several murder trials and always walk away having learned something valuable. 

Years ago, I learned that the Crime Lab only analyzes items for DNA, for example, IF the officer submitting the item specifies exactly what they want. For example, if an officer submits say a shirt and wants it checked for possible DNA, the whole entire shirt does not get analyzed, but ONLY the areas of the shirt that the LE Officer requests (neckline, underarm, etc.). 

 If an officer submits an item without specific directions of what they want, it doesn't get tested, period. In this case, from back around 2011, there were some 60+ items submitted to the Crime Lab with blank labels, so therefore, they were returned unprocessed. 

I won't comment on todays testimony, or any of the other days I go to the trial, until the trial is over. I will then offer my opinion. I don't want to be responsible for disclosing something I shouldn't or in any way impede this case. (And of course, I want to be welcome to attend any of these trials). The media will keep everyone informed and up to date with the latest and I will return to this post and update the links for you with the latest information. 

As always, my heart goes out to this family. No one should ever have to go through this but I am also grateful for the great work done by Detectives and BCI Investigators on the case and for the Prosecutor's Office for prosecuting this case. This family has waited long enough for justice for Mindy and for Cole as well, and I certainly hope they get it. 

Photo credit: Morning Journal/Deanne Johnson Ed Lulla, a special agent from the Ohio Bureau of Investigations, points to an area of a map of Melinda Todd’s home where he gathered crime scene evidence the day of the murder in 2012.

For the 1st Time in Columbiana County, a Drug Dealer is Charged with Murder

 This series of articles is from 2014 but I was just made aware of it. How incredibly interesting that the awesome investigator (Detective Dave Talbert) in this case, was able to do this! I am not sure why I haven't heard about this, but it is great to know that it is happening. No matter what your views are about addiction, NO ONE has the right to take another persons life, under ANY circumstances. 

You can read about this here, and here, and here.

Photo credit: Morning Journal/Deanne Johnson Defense attorney Paul Conn stands to object during the preliminary hearing of his client, Rubin L. Williams, who was seated next to co-defense counsel Christopher Weeda. Williams is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of a Salem woman in 2016.

October 6, 2021

Hare's Psychopathy Checklist

 This article is part of an assignment for my Criminal Behavior class and I found it interesting. If you are interested in understanding the behavior of a psychopath, you can read how the checklist determines whether or not someone is considered a Psychopath by clicking this link.

Murder Trial for Melinda Todd Delayed

 The murder trial for Melinda Todd has been delayed due to issues involving Covid 19. This family has waited 8 years for justice. You can read more about this here.

My heart goes out to this family as I know it may not seem that long to most people, but another week or so is excruciatingly long to those waiting to face the man accused of murdering their loved one. This photo is of Kevin Kirby who is accused in this case. Photo was obtained through WFMJ's website. 

September 20, 2021

First Responder Resources

 This is a great site also for First Responder's. Our first responders have to deal with so much and have seen unbearable things and they do it with grace, compassion and dignity. They have very few resources to assist them in processing all that they have witnessed. They need help and an outlet. This site, Responder Strong offers many great resources. You make a profile, which is basically just name and email, and they break down help per your state of residence. 

I have included a few here such as Supporting First Responders through atypically stressful events and Post Disaster Interventions

Set up your free, personalized account for more. 

Great Resources for Veterans and those with PTSD or Substance Abuse Issues.

 I LOVE this website! It provides great resources for our veterans and those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It also includes some good resources for substance abuse. You can access the site here.

Housing, suicide prevention, and more. 

Our veterans struggle so horribly when returning home from being deployed and aside from the  Veteran's Administration there are often not a lot of help available. This needs to change. 

Risk factors are here. and understanding the risk factors are explained.