ROCKFORD, Ohio (WANE) - The 9-year-old son of the woman shot to death Thursday in Rockford, Ohio was at home with his mom when the killing took place. Melinda Shinn's boyfriend is wanted by police and Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey says Daniel Charles Martin, 40, should be considered armed and dangerous.
Grey released those details at a Friday morning news conference in Celina.
Officers were called to Shinn's home located at at 509 West North Street just before 11 a.m. on a report of a shooting in Rockford. When Police Chief Paul May arrived on the scene, he found the 26-year-old woman's body. During the investigation, police were told by neighbors that the couple could be heard arguing on the night of November 7. Police also found text messages on Shinn's phone that indicated the two had been fighting.
Sheriff Grey said it was not the first time officers had gone to the home on a call of a domestic dispute.
Shortly after the discovery of Shinn's body, police began looking for Martin and the red 1998 Ford Explorer he was driving. The Explorer was found in Fort Wayne on Thursday; however Martin was not with the vehicle. Sheriff Grey said Ohio police are working closely with the Fort Wayne Police Department and they have learned that Martin has family in Fort Wayne.
Martin is said to have a lengthy criminal record that includes carrying a firearm without a permit. He is also known to have violent tendencies according to police.
Shinn's son is safe and in the care of family members. Sheriff Grey said Martin is not the little boy's father.
Neighbors and the police chief are in disbelief this would happen so close to home since it's the first homicide ever in Rockford.
"We've never had an incident like this happen in the village of Rockford. I've been here 20 years and grew up there and nothing like this, in the area maybe, but not in the village limits," said Chief May.
May also said he knew Melinda Shinn personally and even coached her son in football.
"It's very hard. We just don't expect that in our area."
Village mayor Amy Joseph wants to reiterate to residents in Rockford that they have no need to feel endangered.
"I've been assured by the Sheriff's Department and Chief May that this wasn't just a random thing. That it was between two people and the village should feel safe and don't have anything to worry about," said Joseph.
"It's just depressing to think about how close this kind of violence can be to your home," said Len Archibald, who lives across the street from Shinn's home.
Sheriff Grey expects an autopsy to be performed today on Shinn's body in Toledo.
Anyone with information on Martin's whereabouts is asked to call the Mercer County Sheriff's Office at 419-586-7724.
Photo: Daniel Charles Martin
Melinda Shinn was a native of Rockford and graduated from Parkway HIgh School. She had been in a relationship with Martin for a couple of years according to police.
The killing is the first of 2012 in Mercer County, but the third in the past 12 months which includes the Grube murders. It's just the fourth homicide in the last 12 years in Mercer County.
There will be a candlelight vigil in Shinn's honor at 8:00 p.m. Saturday at Shanes Park in Rockford.
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