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Friday, September 29, 2023

Jacob Limberio's Death: A Bungled Investigation

     Deputies with the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office, in response to a shooting call, arrived at a house near Castalia, Ohio at nine-forty-five on the night of March 2, 2012. Officers with this northern Ohio sheriff's department found 19-year-old Jacob Limberio lying in a pool of blood on the living room floor. According to the three young men in the house with the body, Mr. Limberio had been dead about fifteen minutes.

     A superficial examination of the corpse revealed an entrance bullet wound on the left side of Limberio's head, and on the opposite side of his skull, the gaping exit wound made by the slug and pieces of the victim's skull. Lying not far from his feet the officers found a .367-Magnum revolver, the presumed source of the fatal head wounds. On the living room floor deputies discovered several spent shell casings (in a revolver the shell casings are not automatically ejected which means these casings had been manually removed from the gun). The death scene was also littered with empty beer bottles.

     According to the three witnesses they had each fired the .357-Magnum that night in the backyard. After firing the revolver they returned to the house where, at nine-thirty, Limberio, while talking to someone on his cellphone, pressed the gun's muzzle to his left temple and pulled the trigger. (Since he was right-handed that would have been awkward.)

     The Sandusky County deputies left the shooting site that night without taking measurements and making sketches of the death scene. The officers also failed to recover the presumed fatal bullet lodged in the ceiling, or test the three witnesses for the presence of gunshot residue. The .357-Magnum was not processed for latent fingerprints, no one was asked to take a polygraph test and the slug in the ceiling was not matched with bullets test-fired from the death scene revolver. In other words, there was no investigation into this young man's sudden, violent death.

     Just three hours after the fatal shooting, Sandusky County coroner Dr. John Wukie, without the benefit of an autopsy, wrote the following in his report: "Reason for death: Gunshot wound to head. Deceased shot self in head, may not have realized gun was loaded." Dr. Wukie ruled Jacob Limberio's death a suicide. (If Limberio didn't know the gun was loaded the manner of his death would have been accidental.)

     In the early morning hours of March 3, 2012, Jacob Limberio's body was released to a local funeral home where the next day it was embalmed.

     That summer, Sandusky County detective William Kaiser, in his report closing the Limberio "investigation," wrote that he had found nothing in the case to indicate that this young man's death was nothing more than a "horrible accident." This deputy's conclusion did not square with the coroner's ruling that the death was a suicide. At this point it became obvious that these law enforcement officials didn't know what they were doing.

     On September 25, 2012 Jacob's parents, Mike and Shannon Limberio, paid to have their son's body exhumed and sent to the renowned forensic pathologist in Pittsburgh, Dr. Cyril Wecht. The former medical examiner of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania over his long career had performed thousands of autopsies and testified in hundreds of high-profile murder cases.

     Dr. Wecht's autopsy led him to conclude that Jacob Limberio had been shot from two feet away. In his December 12, 2012 report Dr. Wecht wrote: "I find it extremely difficult to envision a scenario in which Jacob Limberio could have shot himself accidentally or with suicidal intent. Accordingly, it is my professional opinion, based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the manner of death in this case should be considered as homicide."

     In January 2013 a Sandusky County judge appointed Lucas County prosecutor Dean Henry to head up a new inquiry into Jacob Limberio's death. No arrests had been made and Dr. John Wukie had not changed his manner of death ruling from suicide to homicide.

     In speaking to a local newspaper reporter in October 2012 about Jacob Limberio's death Dr. Wecht said, "Even in the most remote county in America, this is a case that would require an autopsy. It's a no-brainer, not even a close call. It's a case that requires extensive investigation by homicide detectives. It requires the collection of all evidence, including the bullet that's still lodged in the ceiling."

     In July, 2013 Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine took control of the criminal investigation into Mr. Limberio's sudden and violent death.

     In August 2015 Jacob's parents, Mike and Shannon Limberio, appeared on the "Dr. Phil" television show along with Dr. Wecht who opined that the young man's death had been a criminal homicide. The show also featured two of the witnesses to the shooting who said they had grown tired of being considered, by many, as homicide suspects. As a result they wanted to take polygraph tests to clear their names.

     On November 20, 2015, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that a Sandusky County grand jury had concluded that the Limberio shooting had been an accident. This finding closed the case as a criminal matter. 

17 comments:

  1. honestly, this is sad, very sad. Especially to think that in just a couple of counties i was in earlier today that this could happen. they should all be fired, the guy who was stupid enough to just be like "yeah its a suicide, next!" n the police department guys that were on that case. In Any death there should be even a little investigation, i mean unless u got the whole damn thing goin down on video it should be investigated.

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  2. This is horrible. So glad I found this article after reading a lot of regurgitated junk. I fully believe murder and my state..Ohio...better make things right.

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    1. I'm from Ohio too, Melissa H!

      Don't hold your breath, unless blue is your color!

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  3. Update, the Attorney General in Ohio says the death was accidental, but the county coroner won't change the death certificate from suicide! What a floodgate THAT would open in past cases, eh? Much more corruption in this county being unfolded. Check out more disturbing botched law enforcement stories on Facebook- "What's Going On in Sandusky County"

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  4. A murderer(s) is walking around Sandusky County!

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    1. ***A murderer(s) is walking around Sandusky County!***

      But not doing too well, though; they keep tripping over the liars.

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  5. this is a case of people not wanting to do what tax payers pay them to do and the nerve of the pathologist to not do an autopsy and refusing to change manner of death the the young man when thats all the parents wanted for him to do, some people refuse to do their jobs and this douche should lose his.

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  6. They neglected to mention the witnesses failed their lie detector tests!!!

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  7. I'm still wondering about the other guy that was there

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  8. I just saw this on Dr. Phil and done some research as well today. When Brittany showed on Dr. Phil on maybe how Jacob might have shot himself makes me subject that there is more to this story than any of the 3 want to say. Also, read that in one of their statements they said that they saw Jacob scratching his head with the gun. So with knowing that Jacib was shot 2 ft away and that also that the final ruling was that the gun had a faulty trigger and that is what caused for it to go off.
    So, what did will make sure to note on Dr. Phil that he did pick up the gun in the house but he did not pull the trigger or touch the trigger? And why didnt the other witness show up, maybe he knows more. And that Brittany and Will are dating, might be nothing but could they be covering for one another? There was drinking going so...
    My conclusion; I do believe one of them was playing around with the gun d it went off shooting Jacob d the best way to deal with it is to believe it didnt happen and he did it or dont fully remember all of it due to being intoxicated.
    I do hope that maybe one day they will tell the full story but their the ones who have to live with the guilt cause karma is a bitch! I pray for the family of Jacob and knowing that his father has pasted it's just u want more for the family peace.

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  9. I just watched the Dr. Phil episode, and both kids there being asked about the death that night, they both seemed to show a lack of empathy, or rather, annoyance that the parents won't let the case go, to the point where Dr. Phil even joked, "oh, is being here an inconvenience for you?" Their lie detector test results on Dr. Phil were deceptive. I don't put too much weight into an episode of Dr. Phil, but I think something fishy happened in that house that night. Was it murder? Recklessly playing around with a gun? I don't know. Unfortunately, like the JonBenet Ramsey case, investigators botched the case early-on by not taking proper records, being quick to label it a suicide and not handling the scene properly. Those details are crucial for the solving of a case like this. Unless one of the other people who were there at the time of the shooting changes their story, or new evidence is found, we may never know exactly what happened that night.

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  10. Why is not the third person not brought into the investigation? Who is he? Did he take a polygraph test? That is got to raise more suspicion. I do believe this was not a suicide. It is so unfair to the parents that they will not have answers when there ARE answers that are out there. RIP Jacob.

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  11. Just a matter of useless police.
    The Witnesses are clearly lying, obstructing the real truth of what happened. Their interviews are vastly flawed.

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