LEBANON, Ohio – A judge set bond at $1 million Thursday for a man charged with murder in the bathtub drowning of his wife of a few months.
Relatives of Ryan Widmer, 27, protested the high bond and cried after the video arraignment before Judge Joseph Kirby in Warren County Court.
Widmer, of Lebanon, told a 911 dispatcher Monday night that he tried to perform CPR after finding Sarah Widmer, 24, unresponsive in a bath. He sobbed and said he had been watching television and that his wife often fell asleep in the tub.
"My wife fell asleep in the bathtub and I think she's dead," he told the dispatcher.
Warren County Coroner Russell Uptegrove issued a preliminary ruling of drowning.
But county Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said officials found evidence of trauma that was inconsistent with an accident and not plainly visible on the body. Investigators have taken evidence from the four-bedroom home and said they have found contradictions with Widmer's account of what happened.
Widmer's lawyer, Charlie Rittgers, said the two were not having trouble and he doesn't understand why investigators believe there was foul play.
Authorities said the couple had been married for a few months. The couple had no documented history of domestic violence, Hutzel said. Rittgers said Widmer has no criminal record.
Widmer, a 2004 Miami University graduate, is a sales manager of sporting events for the county's visitors bureau. His wife was a dental hygienist.