CINCINNATI – Four men who were beaten and methodically stabbed in the heart had lived in a sparsely furnished apartment, sleeping on mattresses on the floor while sending thousands of dollars to relatives in Mexico, a coroner said Monday.
Two of the four were related and all were from the same town in Mexico, Hamilton County Coroner O'dell Owens said. He wouldn't release their names and said he did not know the name of the town.
"There is some question about the quality of the identifications," Owens said, noting that no ID card of any sort was found in the apartment.
A message was left at the Mexican consulate in Indianapolis asking if officials there had been notified.
Only one wallet was found in the suburban Sharonville apartment, and it contained $1,300, Owens said.
"That's a lot of money to leave behind," he said.
Receipts found in the apartment appeared to show that the men were sending money to relatives in Mexico. One receipt was for $2,500, Owens said.
"You have four individuals, going to work every day, living in an apartment with no furniture ... and yet we found receipts from them sending thousands of dollars back to their families," he said.
The cause of death was a combination of blunt force trauma and stabbing, Owens said. A knife was used in the stabbings, but Owens wouldn't identify what kind of knife or identify the object used to bludgeon the men.
Three of the victims appeared to have been killed while in bed, possibly while asleep, Owens said. Only two showed some sign of struggling.
All had been dead a week to nine days. Toxicology results could take a couple weeks, Owens said.
Police in Sharonville found the bodies Thursday after an owner of a construction company, Abc Precision Masonry & Concrete, reported one of his usually reliable employees had not shown up for work in several days.
Owens said the owner might be able to help identify the men. The owner did not return repeated calls made by The Associated Press over several days.
"We need to talk to the employer and get them to come in and help us," Owens said.
A minivan believed to be connected to the four workers was found Friday at a grocery store. A tip from a passing motorist led police to the van, about five miles from the apartment where the bodies were found, said Sharonville police Lt. John Cook.
"People I have had contact with said these guys kept pretty much to themselves, went to work and came home," Cook said. "It was a simple lifestyle, no wild parties or anything like that."