(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - Today Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that more than 1,000 cold cases have now been uploaded to the Attorney General's Ohio Unsolved Homicides Database.
Attorney General DeWine asked law enforcement agencies to submit their cold case information to the online database in September. At the time, there were only 166 unsolved homicide cases on the site.
"We are very happy that so many local law enforcement agencies have submitted their unsolved homicide cases," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "We have already received tips on some of the cases, and we hope these tips will lead to arrests."
Fifty-four law enforcement agencies have submitted all or some of their cold cases, including:
*Cincinnati Police Department: 423 cases
*Dayton Police Department: 376 cases
*Akron Police Department: 72 cases
*Franklin County Sheriff's Office: 61 cases
The Cleveland Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff's Office have committed to submitting their unsolved homicide cases as well, which will bring the database numbers to approximately 2,000.
There are an estimated 5,000 unsolved homicides throughout the state. Participation in the database is voluntary.
December Unsolved Homicide: Angela Steele
As part of his Ohio Unsolved Homicides Initiative, Attorney General Mike DeWine features one case from the database each month in an effort to generate tips from across the state.
This month, the Attorney General is asking the public for information regarding the murder of a Wyandot County woman that happened more than a decade ago.
Authorities found Angela Steele's body on June 4, 1999, after receiving a 911 call from her husband indicating that he discovered a badly burned car near his home that he believed to be his wife's vehicle. Responding deputies with the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office found the 30-year-old woman's remains in the front seat of the charred car along Township Road 94 in Masreilles Township.
Investigators later determined that the scene had been staged to give the appearance that Steele had been involved in a traffic accident.
"The person who murdered Angela Steele also robbed her two young children of a mother," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "The victim's daughters have lived 13 years without knowing who killed their mom, and we hope someone will step up and provide some answers."
Due to the extreme heat of the fire, an autopsy could not determine how Steele was killed, but her death was ruled a homicide, and the fire was found to have been intentionally set.
"Wyandot County Sheriff Mike Hetzel and I appreciate the attention Attorney General DeWine's initiative has brought to our case," says Wyandot County Prosecutor Jonathan Miller. "We are hopeful new information from the public will help bring Mrs. Steele's killer to justice."
Anyone with details on the murder of Angela Steele should call the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446) or submit a tip via the Attorney General's Ohio Unsolved Homicides Database.
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List of Agencies in Database (PDF)
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840