CALDWELL, Ohio – A judge issued a gag order Friday on behalf of a juvenile suspect in the killing of one man and the wounding of another who had responded to a phony job ad on Craigslist.
The boy's attorney sought to stop authorities and prosecutors from speaking about what the lawyer described as a "highly sensational" case. Noble County Sheriff Stephen Hannum said in an email Friday that he would release no information due to the gag order.
Cadaver dogs found the body of a Florida man this week in a grave in a remote area outside Caldwell, a small village about 80 miles east of Columbus, after a jobseeker from South Carolina was shot but ran away through the woods, the sheriff said.
Two men were taken into custody, but no names have been released. The Akron Beacon Journal identified the suspects as a 52-year-old man from Akron, about 90 miles away, and a 16-year-old student from Stow-Munroe Falls High School in the Akron area. The sheriff declined to confirm that in an earlier email on Friday, before the gag order was issued.
"Frankly I'm just trying to align my ducks to prevent damaging my criminal case," Hannum wrote.
Jail officials said they could not confirm that they were holding an inmate who was a suspect in the case.
Stow-Munroe Falls Superintendent Russ Jones identified the juvenile suspect as a 16-year-old junior at the high school. On Friday, Jones declined to elaborate on the teen's background or activities but said there was no security issue at the school.
"The incident in question originated from Noble County, which is in southeastern Ohio, had nothing to do in any way, shape or form with any of our students or staff nor at school grounds," he said.
Sheriff Hannum said the South Carolina man escaped from the remote area on Nov. 6 and went to police, who later found a hand-dug grave that they believe had been intended for him.
The man had been told to carry his belongings to Ohio because he'd be living at the farm, and investigators believe robbery was the motive, he said.
Five days after the South Carolina man was shot, authorities received a call from the Florida man's twin sister, concerned that her brother had not been heard from since Oct. 22 in Parkersburg, W.Va., the sheriff said. The twin, in Boston, said her brother had responded to what she believed was the same Craigslist ad, which sought a caretaker for cattle on a 688-acre farm.
Investigators then found the Florida man's body.
Authorities had said an autopsy on the Florida man was being performed Thursday. A message seeking comment was left Friday for the Noble County coroner.