COSHOCTON, Ohio – One suspect in the abduction and slaying of an elderly couple told authorities he shot the pair in the back seat of their car, and a second suspect said the woman was alive when the vehicle was torched, according to a coroner's report released Wednesday.
Doyle Chumney, 88, and his wife, Lillian, 79, of Strasburg, were reported missing Jan. 21 after they failed to pick up their son to give him a ride to an airport. The couple's badly burned remains were found in the back seat of their car the next day on a rural road in Coshocton County. Authorities said the couple's killers went to the home for a robbery.
Within days, two suspects were identified. Jeffery Stewart, 21, was arrested at a gas station Jan. 31. Robert Clark, 29, was arrested after a nationwide manhunt and high-speed chase in northern Arizona Feb. 5. Both have pleaded not guilty — Clark to aggravated murder and kidnapping charges and Stewart to murder and kidnapping. Their cases are pending in Coshocton County. Authorities have said both have provided statements about their roles in the killings.
According to the coroner's report, Clark told investigators that he and Stewart bound the couple with duct tape and, shortly before midnight Jan. 20, drove them in their car to a rural road, where Clark shot Doyle Chumney three times and Lillian Chumney once with a .25-calliber handgun. Stewart told authorities that Lillian Chumney was still alive when the couple's car was doused with gasoline and set on fire, the coroner's report said.
The Coshocton County coroner could not rule on a specific cause of death for the couple because of the condition of their remains.
Clark's attorney declined to comment Wednesday. Stewart's attorney was not immediately available to comment on the report.