JUST IN:


NEW INFO: Bond set for husband accused of killing wife in Miami County

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 3:28 PM
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 8:47 AM

WATCH: Husband gets $1.5M bond in death of Samantha Freels. Randy Freels has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of his wife who was found inside her car last Friday.

UPDATE @ 9:22 a.m. (Jan. 16):

Bond was set at $1.5 million for Randy Freels, 57, who is accused in the shooting death and crash involving his wife Samantha Freels, 52.

Randy Freels appeared for his initial arraignment via video in Miami County Municipal Court Tuesday.

UPDATE @ 8:40 a.m. (Jan. 15):

A man is charged with murder and other charges after deputies said he was involved in the shooting death and crash involving his wife Friday afternoon. 

Randy A. Freels, 57, was booked into the Miami County Jail after special response teams from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Troy police and Piqua police took him into custody around 10:30 p.m. at his home on South Rangeline Road in Union Twp. 

>> Man found in Piqua home; police investigating circumstances as suspicious

Samantha Freels, 52, of Union Twp., was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest in in a vehicle that was crashed in a creek in the area of Ohio 55 and Elleman Road around 3 p.m. Friday. 

Deputies believe Samantha Freels was shot to death in her vehicle very close to where she crashed, officials said. Deputies also said a blue Dodge pickup registered to Randy Freels went off the road near the crash scene.

“While processing what we now believed was a crime scene we received information that…Randy A. Freels…had made comments that afternoon to a third party that he expected to be in some type of shoot-out with law enforcement,” Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said in a prepared statement. 

Duchak said the special response teams responded to the Freels’ residence on South Rangeline, where Randy Freels was taken into custody without incident. 

“We believe Mr. Freels to be a suspect and do not have any evidence to indicate there were others involved. As this is an active homicide investigation we are conferring daily with Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell and his staff,” Duchak said. 

LOCAL NEWS: Miamisburg man identified in fatal crash in West Carrollton

Randy Feels remained in the Miami County Jail Monday morning on charges of murder, leaving the scene of a crash and inducing panic, jail records showed. He’s expected to appear in court Tuesday. 

Search warrants were used to search both vehicles and the Freels’ home on South Rangeline.

Samantha Freels was employed as a digital sales specialist for Cox Media Group Ohio, the parent company of WHIO-TV and Dayton Daily News. 

SAMANTHA FREELS

“Samantha (Sam) was a talented, dedicated, and beloved member of our advertising team. We are incredibly saddened by this tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to her family”, said Rob Rohr, Ohio Market Vice President and General Manager of Cox. 

Funeral services for Samantha Freels will be held Wednesday at Hale-Sarver Funeral Home, 284 N. Miami St., in West Milton at 10:30 a.m. The family also will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home Tuesday.

Anyone who may have been in the area of Ohio 55 and Elleman Friday between 3 and 3:30 p.m. and may have seen or heard anything is asked to contact the Miami County Sheriff’s Office at 937-440-9911.

UPDATE @ 3:45 p.m.

Randy Albert Freels, 57, is charged with murder in the death of his wife, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office said.

The body of 52-year-old Samantha Freels was found inside a car Friday afternoon that crashed into a creek on Ohio 55. Freels died of a gunshot wound to the chest, deputies said.

Randy Freels has been held at the Miami County Jail since Friday night.

UPDATE @ 1:55 p.m.

A 52-year-old Ludlow Falls woman found dead inside a car Friday afternoon died of a single gunshot to the chest, according to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

Samantha Freels’ husband, 57-year-old Randy Albert Freels, has been held in the Miami County Jail since Friday night on two misdemeanor charges of inducing panic and for a hit-and-run crash.

>> Man found in Piqua home; police investigating circumstances as suspicious

Samantha Freels was employed as a digital sales specialist for Cox Media Group Ohio, the parent company of WHIO-TV and Dayton Daily News.

“Samantha (Sam) was a talented, dedicated, and beloved member of our advertising team. We are incredibly saddened by this tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to her family”, said Rob Rohr, Ohio Market Vice President and General Manager of Cox. 

Person of interest in custody in death of woman found at Ohio 55 crash scene

EARLIER REPORT

Crews were dispatched around 3:10 p.m. Friday to Ohio 55 at Elleman Road around on reports of a vehicle that crashed into a creek. Evidence at the scene, however, led officials to believe Freels’ death was suspicious and more than just a crash.

The Miami County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team, along with SRTs from the Troy and Piqua police departments, went to her home on Rangeline Road, where Randy Freels was found and taken into custody without incident. 

Further investigation revealed Freels was shot to death. 

Randy Freels’ charges may change pending autopsy results, officials said.

Owner of dogs that killed ponies pleads guilty to misdemeanor

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:02 PM


            Howard Campbell’s grandchildren play with Simon, a miniature horse. Simon was one of three miniature horses attacked by dogs in St. Clair Twp. CONTRIBUTED Staff Writer
Howard Campbell’s grandchildren play with Simon, a miniature horse. Simon was one of three miniature horses attacked by dogs in St. Clair Twp. CONTRIBUTED Staff Writer

The owner of dogs that attacked miniature horses in St. Clair Twp. has pleaded guilty to failure to restrain the canines.

Terry Foister, of Wichita Drive, and formerly of Sipps Lane in St. Clair Twp., pleaded guilty in Hamilton Municipal Court today to the the minor misdemeanor. He was fined $150 by Judge Dan Gattermeyer.

MORE: Dogs that killed Butler County horses have been put down

For several days in December, Merbs was looking for two dogs that were part of an attack on pet horses in one week. Merbs said that sheriff’s office detectives questioned Foister, the suspected owner of the dogs, and he confessed the animals where his.

“He has no idea they were getting out or were going off the property,” Merbs said. He added Foister thought the dogs may have killed raccoons.

FIRST REPORT: Dogs killed 3 minature horses in Butler County

When Foister learned of the death of the horses, he killed the dogs, according to detectives.

A trio of dogs, described as either pit bulls or a pit bull mixed breed, attacked and killed one horse and mortally maimed another horse Dec. 16 at Mike Powell’s farm in the 1900 block of West Elkton Road, according to Merbs.

Eight-year-old Bella and 6-year-old Pablo died as a result of their injuries.

The remaining two dogs, one still stained with blood, attacked another miniature horse at a neighboring residence in the 2100 block of West Elkton.

“They went after his face and his tail. Just tore him up,” Howard Campbell told this news outlet about the attack on his miniature horse, Simon. “I was at work, my wife was out there. She was throwing rocks at (the dogs) trying to get them off (the horse).”

A veterinarian came to the aid of Simon, sewing him up, but by Saturday morning it was apparent the 16-year-old horse would not make it, according to Campbell.

Florida college student says man tried to touch her leg in on-campus parking garage

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:42 AM

Florida College Student Says Man Tried To Grab Her In Parking Garage

Police at the University of Central Florida are warning students to be on their guard after a woman said a man tried to assault her in a campus parking garage Monday.

>> Read more trending news

UCF police said a woman who attends the university was approached around 6 p.m. by an unknown man who asked for help with his car in Garage C. 

During the exchange, the man tried to touch the student's leg, police said, causing her to scream and run away. 

The student immediately called police and described the man as 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was wearing glasses, a gray sweater and dark pants, she told authorities.

UCF police said the description of the incident closely matches two similar incidents that happened on campus within the past month and a half. 

In December, a student reported that she was inappropriately grabbed by a man inside the Business Administration II building, the UCF Police Department said.

The student told investigators that the incident happened at about 5:50 p.m., UCF police spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin said.

The man, who she did not know, was lingering near a vending machine and started talking to her before grabbing her, Gilmartin said.

"It's just unfortunate that we have to deal with that here at UCF. I feel like we're so close as a family and as a university. It's incredible that we have to do this," UCF student Ponatoyas Jusakus said.

Investigators said the woman ran from the building and reported the incident about an hour later.

>> On WFTV.com: 9 Investigates: Sexual assault cases at UCF

The man was described as being dark-skinned with a thin build and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was wearing a gray hoodie and jeans at the time of the incident, police said.

A similar incident happened in the same building Dec. 4, Gilmartin said. The victim in that case provided a similar description of the culprit, but no one was arrested.

>> On WFTV.com: Police: Woman screams for help, gets pushed into car at UCF

Police said they do not believe the two incidents are related to a similar encounter at Valencia College this week.

"Detectives are currently revisiting the case from last month and reviewing surveillance video from last night," Gilmartin said. "In regards to the incident at Valencia College Tuesday night, at this point, the circumstances and suspect descriptions do not match."

Report: Parents of 13 siblings allegedly kept captive were moving to Oklahoma

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:26 AM

Details Emerge About 13 Siblings Rescued From California Home

A report says David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, the California couple accused of allegedly holding 13 siblings captive in their home, were planning to move to Oklahoma.

ABC News reported that the parents was moving from California to Oklahoma days before they were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment, citing multiple unnamed sources.

>> Read more trending news 

David Turpin was getting a job transfer with a defense contractor he was working with, according to ABC News. Moving boxes were reportedly found at the residence. The report says the family has moved to multiple places over the years, including a home in Texas.

The couple’s 17-year-old daughter had escaped the home early Jan. 14 and called 911, saying her 12 siblings were “being held captive” at a Perris, California, residence by her parents.

Related: Parents accused of holding their 13 children captive appear in court

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a Jan. 15 news release that the siblings, ranging in ages from 2 to 29, “appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.” Six of the siblings are minors.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were charged with 12 counts of torture and a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress. The siblings could only have one meal a day and take one shower a year.

Related: DA: Captive siblings limited to one meal a day, one shower a year

Two dogs were found by authorities in the home, according to city spokesman Joe Vargo. Vadrgo said in a statement that the two Maltese terrier dogs were in much better condition than the siblings.

Related: Dogs found in perfect condition in home where 13 siblings held captive

“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a news release from the City of Perris said.

The parents made their first court appearance Thursday and entered not guilty pleas to all charges. Their bail is set at $13 million. They are scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 23.

Springfield man accused of selling relative’s guitars to pawn shop

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 7:40 AM

Vincent T. Ware
Vincent T. Ware

A Springfield man is facing charges after he allegedly stole about $2,000 worth of guitars from a relative and sold them to a local pawn shop.

MORE CRIME: Springfield man accused of whipping pregnant woman with belt

Vincent T. Ware, 32, has been charged with receiving stolen property and theft charges, according to Clark County Jail records. He’s expected to appear in the Clark County Municipal Court at 10:30 a.m. today.

In September, a Springfield man reported three guitars stolen from his residence, according to a police report. On Dec. 15, the man told police two of his guitars were located at a pawn shop on East Main Street. An employee told police Ware sold the guitars to the business on Sept. 11 and a warrant was later filed for his arrest for receiving stolen property, the report said.

MORE CRIME: Springfield man accused of biting woman’s face

Ware is also facing a theft charge for allegedly shoplifting about $50 in toys from Big Lots on Leffel Lane, according to a police report. On Nov. 30, an employee reported a man put toys in his jacket and walked out without paying. The employee then took a photo of the man before he started running towards Clifton Avenue. Police were able to identify Ware from the photo, the report said.

Ware was arrested at about 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning, jail records said.

5 QUICK CRIME READS

Springfield man arrested, accused of robbing Fifth Third bank

Bullets hit home, car in Springfield

Domestic violence, arson arrests in Springfield linked to Snapchat

Facebook hunting photos lead to wildlife charges for New Carlisle men