CELINA — Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey announced two arrests Wednesday morning in the double homicide of Robert Grube, 70, and his daughter Colleen Grube, 47, of east Fort Recovery, after a 16-month investigation.
The victims were found bound with duct tape and dead from gun shot wounds on Nov. 30, 2011 in their home by a family member.
Law enforcement officials charged Trevin Sanders, 18, of Union City, with 27 criminal counts, including two counts of aggravated homicide, a charge specifying that he planned “with prior calculation and design” to take the lives of the victims. He also was charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and theft.
Sanders, who was 17 at the time of the crime, is currently being held at prison in Michigan City, Ind., on an unrelated charge. Officials are arranging to extradite him to Ohio by completing the juvenile court paperwork required.
Investigators issued 179 court ordered subpoenas, conducted 329 interviews with 268 different people, and investigated 88 tips from the public, which allowed detectives to eliminate suspects in their effort to solve the homicides. The investigation spanned four states — Ohio Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“In that 16 months, this case has never went cold,” Grey said. “It’s been a winding, curvy case.”
Most of the interviews led to multiple lines of inquiry, the sheriff said, and investigators were careful to follow every lead to build a case that leads to conviction. The big break for investigators came through the Jay County Sheriff’s Office, a year ago in January, when the Jay County sheriff called investigators about an arrest in a case they believed could be connected to the Grube homicides.
“That was the turning point,” Grey said.
On Tuesday, law enforcement officials also arrested Bryant Rhoades, 22, of Union City, on a charge of obstructing justice in a first degree felony case, which is a third-degree felony. He appeared in Celina Municipal Court, where bond was placed at $3.5 million, with a 10 percent cash provision.
Rhoades was arrested in connection with a clandestine methamphetamine lab in Union City. Rhoades allegedly told investigators that on the night of the homicide, Rhoades met an unnamed female subject involved in the Grube homicide at her mobile home in Broadway Mobile Home Court in Fort Recovery.
A follow-up investigation determined that the information Rhoades gave was false.
“This has been a tough 16 months for everybody,” Grey said, sharing officers investigated the case every single day, including weekends, during that time period. “A lot of times this was not an 8-to-5 investigation.”
On Tuesday night investigators answered questions from the Grube family about the case. The Grube family has asked not to be contacted about the case.
“They are going through a difficult time,” Grey said.
Meanwhile, Grey said the investigation is only at “half time,” and that charges may still be filed against others involved. The office is still accepting tips and following leads.
“We want to make sure we get everyone that was involved,” Grey said.
Officials are being very careful to protect the integrity of the case, Grey said.
For those who may still have information, officers encourage them to contact police online or through the tip line 567-890-TIPS.
“We don’t want anybody to be able to walk away from this,” Grey said.