CELINA, Ohio (WANE) Trevin M. Sanders, 18, of Union City, Ohio, has been charged with two counts of aggravated homicide as well as 25 other criminal counts in connection to a November 2011 double homicide.
Robert Grube and his daughter Colleen Grube, were found bound by duct tape and shot to death in their Fort Recovery home in late November 2011.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey announced the charges against Sanders in a statement on Wednesday morning. Sanders is being held in the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City serving time for an unrelated charge, according to Mercer County officials.
Charges against Sanders were filed in the Mercer County Juvenile Court as he was 17 at the time of the crime.
Grey did not indicate what the motive may have been in the killings but said aggravated homicide charges indicate that Sanders caused the deaths of the Grubes "purposely [and] with prior calculation and design. "
Sanders also faces charges of kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary.
Also arrested was Bryant L. Rhoades, 22, of Union City. Rhoades is charged with obstruction of justice. He is being held in the Mercer County Adult Detention facility.
The press release on Rhoades' arrest indicated that on June 4, 2012, Rhoades had given authorities false information related to the Grube homicides.
The press release did not disclose whether Rhoades was directly involved in the killings.
The release only reflected that authorities have accused Rhoades of intentionally hindering the "discovery, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another, for a crime or assist another to benefit from the commission of a crime, communicate false information to the [investigating officers and agents]." The obstruction of justice charge is punishable as third degree felony in Ohio.
Authorities had previously indicated that they believed two or more people and possibly a man and a woman had committed the crimes.
Grey said that in the 16 months since the crime, the case has never been cold. There have been 179 court ordered subpoenas and search warrants, 329 interviews, and 88 tips. Grey reinforced that the case is not yet closed, saying they still needed a conviction.
Grey thanked other law enforcement agencies and the Ohio Attorney General with help on the case. Grey singled out Doug Timmerman as investigator with Mercer County that worked the case every day. He also singled out the Jay County Sheriff's Department.
According to Grey, Jay County police had a case they thought Mercer County needed to know about.
"Some of our officers responded to a call in the northeast part of the county," said Rod Bicknell, a chief deputy with the Jay County Sheriff's Department. "Some of the items recovered during the call were some duct tape and a .22-caliber handgun. We kind of heard through the grapevine that these were some of the terms that might have been used in the Grube murder."
Those items were merely coincidence. "They had the wrong things, at the wrong time," Bicknell added. That call however led investigators to Rhoades' meth lab in Darke County, Ohio.
Sheriff Grey did not answer any questions, because he wanted to protect the integrity of the case. The Grube family did not speak, and Grey does not expect them to in the near future.
"I explained to them that for the next day or two, there will be a lot of media," Grey said. "The family has requested the media not contact them. They are not going to make a statement at this time. They are going through a difficult time. It's been 16 months, and now they're back in the middle and in the forefront. They do understand the media has a job to do, but I would ask as a courtesy you honor their request."
Grey also said law enforcement in Ohio is still asking for information. Anyone with information can call the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) tip line at 855-BCI-OHIO.
November 2011 killings
On November 30, 2011, Cassandra Grube found her father-in-law Robert, 70 and her sister-in-law, Colleen, 47, bound by duct tape and dead from gunshot wounds when she went to check on them at 9:00 am at their home at 2216 Burrville Road.
Officials determined that Colleen was last seen alive shortly after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Colleen and Robert were found about 16 hours later.
Investigators have narrowed the time of the incident to a two hour window, and also know that at least one male and one female offender were present when the homicides occurred.
There was also a laptop computer missing from the scene.
In September of 2012, the Mercer County Sheriff's Department announced it was offering a $20,000 reward, up from an initial $10,000 offer, for information that would lead to a conviction in the case. It's not known if a tip led police to the suspects or if the arrests were made based on the nearly 200 pieces
of evidence they had gathered.
Fort Recovery community reacts to news of aggravated homicide charges
It didn't take Fort Recovery residents long to learn about the charges that were announced Wednesday morning. Many people said they learned about it before lunch by reading it on the internet or hearing it over the radio.
Buzz Hull, who has lived in Fort Recovery his whole life new the Grube family, but had not spoken to any family members since Robert and Colleen Grube were killed.
"You couldn't believe this happened in a place like this," Hull said. "You can't say too many nice things about people who do things like this."
Hull knew Robert, and Hull's son was the same age as Colleen.
After 16 months of investigating, residents felt their hometown was still safe as it's always been.
"We're fortunate for the law enforcement we have here," Hull said. "I couldn't figure how they were able to do this, but they know what they're doing. The sheriff and the deputies do a good job. We're very fortunate here."
A man was injured after being trapped inside of a hole at a construction site for around 20 minutes on Monday afternoon. Police said he was up to his knees in dirt before crews were able to dig him out.
A Fort Wayne man was arrested after he apparently threw an alcoholic drink on his pregnant girlfriend and then hit her in the ear while her two small children were asleep in the home.
Police have charged six people and are still looking for one woman they believe is living in the Fort Wayne area. She faces meth dealing charges.
A Fort Wayne man is facing eight charges after he spit on a police officer who arrested him. He also spit on nurses and other officers while being treated at a local hospital.
Fort Wayne area firefighters, police officers, and EMT's are competing in the annual Battle of the Badges blood drive this holiday season.
Indiana residents receiving food stamps will begin receiving their monthly benefits on new dates under a state law approved earlier this year.
Police have identified a person of interest in Sunday’s stabbing outside of a home on Bluebird Court, off of St. Joe Road.
Police in Indianapolis say a seventh-grade boy has died after apparently collapsing and being found face down in the snow.
Police are looking for a white man who is 6'0" to 6'2" with a thin build they say robbed a CVS in November. He may have been driving a gray or dark green Ford SUV.
Police from several agencies have responded to multiple crashes overnight due to slick roads from a wintry mix that moved through the area late Sunday and early Monday morning.
A rural Angola man faces six felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman.
A local family wants help in making sure their loved one's murderer stays in prison.
Police said a man barricaded himself inside of a home on Genessee Avenue early Sunday morning for more than two hours after threatening to commit suicide.
Detectives believe a three-year-old boy may have shot himself at a home in Indianapolis Saturday night. Police said the shooting appears to have been accidental.
There will be several holiday-themed events this weekend in the Fort Wayne area, including Christmas displays, children’s parties, visits from Santa Claus, and more.