‘What kind of animal are they?;’ Cold case solved 60 years after grisly murder of Dayton mother

TIPP CITY — Decades after her death, investigators have answered the question of who murdered 43-year-old Daisy Shelton.

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson spoke to Shelton’s grandaughter Maria Walling, who shared her reaction to hearing the news her grandmother’s killers had been found.

The case began in June 1964, when a man fly fishing at a local gravel pit hooked a grisly catch; a human arm.

The next day, divers found the woman’s other severed arm, and that discovery launched a full-blown recovery effort that brought in search boats and pumpers to lower the water level in the gravel pit.

Over the next two weeks, the woman’s torso, leg, and head turned up about a mile away in a section of the old Miami-Erie Canal in Tipp City.

The woman was later identified as Shelton.

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Shelton had been hit in the head with a hammer, cut into pieces, and dumped into the water, according to Walling.

“It’s very, very shocking that a human being can do that to another human being,” Walling said.

Now nearly 60 years later, she got a phone call from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office that her family has been anticipating for decades — “we are ready to close the case.”

News Center 7 previously reported that the case went mostly forgotten until 2017 when detectives said a witness came forward with more information.

“I’m like finally. They found the killers, there was three,” Walling said. “I’m going to feel bad for the families that are going to find out about these three individuals family killed my grandmother.”

Walling never met her grandmother, but said she remembers how her father described her.

“She was sweet, my dad said she was really strict,” Walling said.

Walling’s father Rodney died in 2020, before his death, Walling said he rarely brought up his mother’s murder.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: New development in decades old cold case murder

“He never led on how he really felt about this, but it was all eating him up inside,” she said.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to News Center 7 that two of the suspects in the case are dead.

Walling shared if she feels like justice has been served.

“To be honest, no,” she said. “No one has that right. No one has the authority to take someone’s life.”

She wishes she could tell her father what she learned.

“Dad, justice is served. They’re gone and I pray to god no one ever goes through this, and I’m glad you’re with mom,” she said.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office said they hope to make an official statement on the case soon.

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