Cold Case Project: slayings of West Chester man and his dogs remain unsolved

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 @ 4:05 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 @ 4:05 PM

Former Proctor & Gamble employee George Gibson was killed in 2000. Watch this video for details about his case.

On his final afternoon, George Gibson left work early, without explanation.

Within a few hours, someone shot the Procter & Gamble researcher nine times in his West Chester home. The killer, who apparently broke in through a rear basement window, also killed Gibson’s two pet Bernese Mountain dogs, Hugo and Capella.

“We believe he received a phone call at his work that made him leave early,” said Det. Doug Farris, the latest to investigate the nearly 13-year-old cold case.

Gibson, 47, was shot to death June 22, 2000. His wife Paige Smith, also a Procter & Gamble researcher at the time, was in upstate New York on a business trip that day.

“It’s one of those things where nothing makes sense,” Smith said last week from Oxford, NY, where she now lives. “It’s so foreign to me. So unlikely that George would have a passionate enemy.”

Gibson is hardly the typical murder victim, Farris said, noting that “he did not have a high-risk lifestyle.”

Gibson graduated from Brown University, then received his degree in veterinary medicine from Michigan State University. After practicing in Vermont, he went to Cornell University, where he received a doctorate in pathology. While at Cornell, he met Smith, who was pursuing her doctorate in veterinary clinical nutrition there.

The couple moved from New York to the Cincinnati area about two years before the murder. Gibson worked at P&G’s Ross facility and Smith at the Mason branch.

Smith and Gibson’s sister, Judy, who lives in New York and did not want her last name used, both said that Gibson was a generous man, an animal lover and a pillar of the family. He helped people, was involved with his church and the Boy Scouts, even though he and Smith did not have children.

Gibson’s last day was a Thursday. Smith saw him before going to work. After work, she flew to Norwich, NY. Gibson was seen leaving work about 3:40 p.m., then seen arriving home around 5:20 p.m.

Smith became concerned after she could not reach Gibson by phone and, the next day, asked a neighbor to check on him. P&G employees had called police after Gibson did not arrive at work, and officers arrived just as the neighbors were about to enter the home. About 12:30, police found his body on the first floor of the home at 7165 Tylersville Road.

Gibson was shot seven times in the head, once in the neck and once in the chest. The killer fired at least five more shots at the dogs. One was found in the basement near the broken window. The other was found on the main floor.

Farris said that it appeared that someone sat Gibson down, had a talk with him, then executed him. He described the crime as “very personal.”

Nothing was missing from the home, though some things had been moved around, Farris said.

There were no suspects, and no known reason for Gibson’s slaying. But police found that Gibson had a secret life after a woman came forward and told them that she had met Gibson through a dating phone service. Police now believe Gibson had contact with several people through the service, Farris said.

Asked about the phone service, Smith said “I guess it’s possible,” but added that it didn’t sound like him. His sister said she found it nearly impossible and described Gibson as “very straight laced” and the couple as extremely close.

“We always said George and Paige together, like it was one word,” she said. “He and Paige had a very tight marriage. It seems unlikely to me.”

The two speculated that Gibson could have been the victim of a botched hit, in which a killer went to the wrong house, or that his generosity could have gotten him in trouble. On at least one occasion, Gibson helped a female acquaintance leave an abusive partner, they said.

“I could see him trying to help someone who was in trouble,” the sister said.

But Farris said that evidence found at the scene points more closely to the dating service, though he declined to say what that evidence was.

His family members said that they just want to know what happened to Gibson, and why.

“It would be wonderful to have some sort of explanation,” his sister Judy said. “We’ll grieve him all our lives, but at least we’d know what happened.”

Anyone with information about the slaying of George Gibson is asked to call West Chester 513-759-7272 or Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-STOP.

Trenton police search for Fifth Third Bank robber

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 1:40 PM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 2:08 PM

Man reportedly robbed Fifth Third Bank on Saturday

Trenton police are searching for a man who robbed the Fifth Third Bank on Saturday morning.

Police said the suspect in the robbery reported just after 10:20 a.m. is a white man with a gray jacket, sunglasses and an orange Titleist ball hat. The bank is located at 805 State St.

MORE: Man in van tried to lure Hamilton kids with promise of ice cream, residents tell police

The man was reported to have fled on foot westbound behind the Lee’s Famous Recipe and possibly got into a vehicle near Hathaway Drive.

Police are continuing their investigation. Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to call the Trenton Police Department at 513-988-6341 or call Detective Sean Gill at 513-428-0129.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Police: Florida man drives through bedroom with 3 children inside

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 1:50 PM

The wreckage is seen after a Florida man allegedly plowed through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
WFTV
The wreckage is seen after a Florida man allegedly plowed through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said.(WFTV)

A Florida man is facing a charge of reckless driving after plowing through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

Johnny Woodberry, 44, was driving a 2005 Cadillac in Cocoa around 2 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and drove into the house, troopers told WFTV
>> Read more trending news 

The three children were asleep inside the bedroom when the car drove through it, but troopers said they only sustained minor injuries.

Troopers said the children were transported to Wuestoff Hospital and later released, WFTV reported. 

Teen killed in Dayton shooting

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 3:20 PM

Dayton police and SWAT have surrounded a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue where investigators said a suspect from an overnight shooting is believed to be barricaded inside.

An 18-year-old woman died after being shot in the neck early Saturday in a Dayton apartment and police continued a manhunt throughout the day for a suspect they first thought was cornered by a SWAT team in a house five miles from the crime scene.

Police and medics called to the 5000 block of Caliph Court at about 1:25 a.m. found Dontiaunna Brown suffering from a gunshot wound.

Dayton police investigate the apparent shooting death of 18-year-old Dontiaunna Brown at an apartment building on Caliph Court early Saturday morning. JEFFERY BROWN / STAFF

A caller to 911 was heard telling someone to “breathe, breathe,” then told a dispatcher: “I need help, somebody got shot!”

Brown was later pronounced dead at the scene, according to Dayton police Sgt. Theodore Trupp, who said investigators were working to determine what led to the shooting.

» CRIME: 25 years after Christmas murder spree: ‘It will never be forgotten’

Later at about 8 a.m., Dayton police and SWAT surrounded a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue where investigators believed a suspect had barricaded himself inside. Officers blocked off the area and ordered occupants out of the house.

Dayton police surround a house in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue on Saturday morning after a suspect in a fatal shooting was believed barricaded inside, according to authorities. The man police were looking for was not in the house. JEFFERY BROWN / STAFF

Police entered the house about 10:30 a.m. and found four men, but not the shooting suspect. One person was arrested on an unrelated traffic charge, police said.

» MORE: 2-month-old boy found dead at Dayton home

Lamichea Childs, a friend of Brown’s sister, said the 18-year-old “didn’t even get to live life.”

“When I met her as a little girl, she was a sweetheart. She was always happy, sweet. Loved kids. Loved life,” Childs said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen to her.”

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Brown’s cause of death is pending until completion of an autopsy.

2-month-old boy found dead at Dayton home

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 2:03 PM

Dayton 2-month-old found dead in home

UPDATE @ 2:25 p.m.

The child found dead this morning was 2 months old, according to a Montgomery County Coroner’s investigator.

The investigator also said the Dayton child’s name is spelled Silas Snyder. An autopsy has not yet been performed, he said, and a preliminary cause of death is not available.

FIRST REPORT

A 3-month-old boy was found dead this morning on a love seat inside his home.

Police and medics were dispatched around 8:30 a.m. to the 600 block of Bowen Street after a woman said she found the baby unresponsive.

The baby, identified as Sylas P. Snyder, was pronounced dead at 8:37 a.m. and was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

>> TRENDING: 18-year-old killed in overnight shooting; standoff ends

According to a Dayton police report, the mother told police when she got home from work at midnight Sylas was asleep on a love seat so she lay down on a couch to sleep. At 3 a.m. when she checked on him, she said he was fine.

The baby’s grandmother said she checked on Sylas around 8:30 a.m., and found him on his belly. She rolled him over, noticed he was cold to the touch and immediately called 911, according to the report.

The infant’s death remains under investigation.

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