Harrison County

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Harrison County murder suspects indicted, details released

Updated: Thursday, April 17 2014, 12:10 AM EDT

Harrison County, OH --

Investigators in Harrison County are now moving forward with a homicide investigation.


On Wednesday evening County Prosecutor Michael Washington told NEWS9’s Ryan Eldredge that a grand jury handed down indictments for Matthew Dowdel and Eve Kelley.


Those indictments include four charges for each including murder, felonious assault, complicity to commit felonious assault and complicity to commit murder.


Investigators say the two are responsible for the murder of Joe Strother.


Strother was killed back on March 27th and it wasn’t until March 28th that his body was discovered by a woman walking her dog in Sally Buffalo Park in Cadiz.


Washington also released details of that crime.

“The theory of the state's case is that this started as a felonious assault type situation that wound up causing the death of another," said Washington.

For weeks Washington has asked for patience and with investigators has kept the investigation under lock and key.


But with the indictments that is changing. Washington revealed that Strother was found face down naked in the area of shelter 3. According to the county coroner Strother died as a result of severe blunt force trauma, most of which was to his head and face.


“It was a blunt object that's as best as we can say at this point,” said Washington. “That's one detail that we would have to wait for the trial just to make sure that that particular detail is kept under wraps. If it were a knife or a gun it would be very simple to say that's what it was."       


Washington says Strother and Dowdel were acquaintances and added that investigators have an understanding of why the two men were together along with Kelley. But he wouldn't go into any detail.


What he did do was put an end to one of the rumors that has been circulating throughout the community...


"There were no missing parts to the victim on this particular situation, any rumors related to that are false," said Washington.


Washington says he is waiting to hear back from investigators in Florida.


Kelley and Dowdel waived their extradition allowing for a return to Ohio, but they must first settle the felony charges they have in the sunshine state. Once they return they will be arraigned.

Harrison County murder suspects indicted, details released

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