October 18, 2012
CALDWELL — A South Carolina man who was shot while responding to a Craigslist ad for a job in southeastern Ohio had hidden in the woods for several hours and then showed up at a woman’s house covered in blood, the woman said Friday.
Authorities investigating the wounding of that man and the death of another man charged a 16-year-old boy with attempted murder and complicity to attempted murder on Friday. The teen and another suspect were in custody.
“The investigation is moving swiftly but also deliberately,” Noble County Sheriff Stephen Hannum and Prosecutor Clifford Sickler said in a news release announcing the charges.
Rose Schockling called police after the wounded man came to her farmhouse on a hill in the tiny village of Fulda. She said the man was lucky he’d come the way he did because there were no houses for more than 2 miles in the other direction.
“Thank God he didn’t go the other way, he’d never find anybody,” she said.
Hannum and Sickler said no further information would be released because a judge on Friday had issued a gag order. Authorities had said the order was sought by the attorney for a juvenile suspect who wanted to keep authorities and prosecutors from speaking about what the lawyer described as a “highly sensational” case.
Cadaver dogs found the body of a Florida man this week in a grave in a remote area outside Caldwell, a small village about 80 miles east of Columbus, Hannum said.
The man who visited Schockling was bloody and told her he’d been shot several hours earlier and hid in woods until it was dark, when he began walking, she said. He said he came to her place because it was the first well-lighted house he could see.
The man told the 74-year-old Schockling that he’d answered an ad on Craigslist for a job and was told he’d be erecting fences for a cattle farm. Schockling said there’s no farm of the size the man described nearby, with most of the surrounding countryside being either woods or strip mines.
The Akron Beacon Journal identified as suspects a 52-year-old man from Akron, about 90 miles away, and a 16-year-old student from Stow-Munroe Falls High School in the Akron area.
Jail officials said they could not confirm that they were holding an inmate who was a suspect in the case.
Stow-Munroe Falls Superintendent Russ Jones identified the juvenile suspect as a 16-year-old junior at the high school. On Friday, Jones declined to elaborate on the teen’s background or activities but said there was no security issue at the school.
“The incident in question originated from Noble County, which is in southeastern Ohio, had nothing to do in any way, shape or form with any of our students or staff nor at school grounds,” he said.
Hannum said the South Carolina man escaped from the remote area on Nov. 6 and went to police, who later found a hand-dug grave that they believe had been intended for him.
The man had been told to carry his belongings to Ohio because he’d be living at the farm, and investigators believe robbery was the motive, he said.
Five days later, authorities received a call from the Florida man’s twin sister, concerned that her brother had not been heard from since Oct. 22 in Parkersburg, W.Va., the sheriff said. The twin, in Boston, said her brother had responded to what she believed was the same Craigslist ad, which sought a caretaker for cattle on a 688-acre farm.
Investigators then found the Florida man’s body.
Authorities had said an autopsy on the Florida man was being performed Thursday. A message seeking comment was left Friday for the Noble County coroner.