Unknown Harry Smith Killer - Ohio - 2011 Nov 11, 2014 16:39:03 GMT -5
Post by HeadMarshal on Nov 11, 2014 16:39:03 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: 10tv.com)
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Oct 14, 2014
This week marks the third anniversary of the unsolved murder of a Ross County World War II veteran.
Harry Smith, 89, was found bound and beaten to death in his mobile home located on state Route 772 outside of Chillicothe. Three fires were set inside the home, according to family members and investigators.
Investigators first told family members Smith may have committed suicide, but later ruled the cause of death as undetermined. In January 2012, the Montgomery County Coroner ruled the death was from blunt force trauma to the head.
Smith's family hired a private attorney and investigator spending $30,000 of their own money. In June 2012, Smith's death was ruled a homicide. The Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation took over the investigation and has been following leads since that time.
BCI investigators believe that robbery may have been the motive in the case.
Andrea Smith, who is married to Harry's grandson, said three men's rings were stolen from Harry's home: his WWII Navy ring, his Chillicothe High School graduation ring, and a brown onyx insignia ring.
“It has been three years and I have been very active in pushing the information trying to keep it out there, hoping and praying someone is going to do the right thing. They are going to give us the information we need that one last thing,” Andrea said. She has a degree in criminal justice and has been the driving force within the family keeping Harry's murder in the forefront.
“BCI has done a very good job communicating with the family. I think they are very close, but they need solid information and they need someone to bring that to them,” Andrea said.
A BCI spokesperson tells NBC4 this is an active and ongoing investigation therefore we cannot comment, but says that the agency continues to follow-up on leads.
Harry volunteered for the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. He was a decorated Navy vet, worked for and retired from the Mead Plant in Chillicothe, and then he was the first Walmart greeter in Chillicothe.
Andrea said he was outgoing and well liked.
His wife Opal preceded him in death.
Anyone with information surrounding his death is asked to contact BCI at 855-BCI-TIPS.
There is a $5,000 dollar reward from the family, another $5,000 reward from the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers will pay an amount determined on the amount available.
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Thoughts? I first learned about this case during the summer when I found this while google news browsing. I felt it was appropriate to profile Harry's unsolved murder on Veteran's Day (US)/Remembrance Day (Canada) 2014 just like how Scumhunter did Jose Miranda exactly one year ago today. With robbery being the clear motive, the best chance we're going to have with solving this case is locating Harry's stolen rings, however they could have easily been pawned off by now.