(Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
CELINA - Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey still has two murder investigations going on. One dates back exactly one year to the day the bodies of Robert and Colleen Grube were discovered at their home near Fort Recovery. The other case began less than a month ago with the shooting of Melinda Shinn at her home in Rockford.
On Thursday, Grey called together members of the media to provide an update on both investigations.He began with the Shinn murder case which centers on 40-year-old Daniel Charles Martin. Shinn and Martin lived together in a mobile home in Rockford and argued during the evening of Nov. 7. The next morning, Rockford Police were called to the trailer where Shinn's body was discovered. Martin was nowhere to be found, although his vehicle was later located in Fort Wayne. The effort put into trying to find Martin is still continuing.
"Our detectives are working very closely with other law enforcement agencies, both in Ohio and outside Ohio, attempting to locate him," stated Grey. "Right after the warrant was issued, we requested the assistance of the United States Marshal Service. They have a lot more resources and a lot more tools. They are very professional in tracking people down... They have worked with us on the case."
The U.S. Marshal Service has posted a $2,500 reward for information that will lead to Martin's arrest. Anyone who has information about where Martin is at can contact the Sheriff's Office here at (419) 586-7724, or use tip lines at (866) 4-WANTED or on the Mercer County Sheriff's website, www.mercercountysheriff.org. Martin is still considered to a dangerous fugitive
"If someone sees him out on the street or knows where he is at, they should contact their local law enforcement agency," Grey continued. "We do believe that he is still armed, so it is important that the public help us with information, but the public allows law enforcement to make the apprehension. We don't want anyone else to get hurt including Mr. Martin. Our goal is to make an arrest, bring him in and work through the court process."
Grey went on to explain that although the Rockford Police Department initially investigated the murder, his office was requested to take over the investigation.
"I want the people of Rockford to be aware that we didn't come in and take it. The Rockford Police Department is working very closely with us on that case. They just have a small agency and don't have quite as many resources as we do to be able to work a case of this magnitude," he shared.
As for the Grube case, Grey said that he is encouraged with recent developments in the investigation.
He related, "Before I was saying my confidence level was high, today I'm saying it is very high. So while it's been 12 months, I want to stress to the people of Mercer County, this is not a case that is sitting on a shelf. It's a case that we are very actively working and putting in a lot of resources into. It's taken some time, but I believe we're going down the right path."
The bodies of Robert and Colleen Grube were discovered one year ago today, bound with duct tape and dead of gunshot wounds. There were no signs of forced entry to their home outside of Fort Recovery. Grey stated that he is pleased with the direction in which the investigation is headed.
"We have ruled out several people out as possible suspects, however we continue to follow up on any and all tips that come in," he announced. "We have some individuals who I am not comfortable calling a suspect quite yet at this point, but we are very curious about them. That is our focus at this point. We are really focusing and putting a lot of effort into a few people that might possibly be involved. We have a good indication that we are on the right track. So hopefully we'll have some resolution soon."
According to Grey, detectives have traveled throughout southern and southwestern Ohio as well as Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee and have been in contact with law enforcement in several other states. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the deaths of Robert and Colleen Grube.
Grey admitted that tips on the murders have slowed down over the past 12 months, but new evidence is continuing to come in. More than 250 people have been interviewed in connection with the case, some of those multiple times. Grey also thanked the Sheriff's offices in Darke County, Ohio along with Randolph County and Jay County in Indiana.
Now, with two high-profile murder cases, Mercer County law enforcement is concentrating on getting these two cases wrapped up.
"Right now the priority of the Mercer County Sheriff's Office is to find Daniel Charles Martin and to find who is responsible for Robert and Colleen's murders, Grey summarized. "My confidence level remains very high that we are going to be successful in finding Martin and in solving that case."