Ohio Retired Cop Charged With Murder After Wife's Body Found in Home

A retired Ohio police officer was charged with murder after his wife's body was found wrapped in plastic inside a sleeping bag at their home.

Police found the body Sunday after a relative called to report a smell coming from the garage of Gary Stroud's Mentor-on-the-Lake home, authorities said.

Authorities said that Stroud's 53-year-old wife, Diane, had been missing for several weeks, and on Wednesday they confirmed that the body was hers. She died from a blunt force injury, Mentor-on-the Lake police Chief John Gielink said. He declined to comment further.

Gary Stroud, a 57-year-old former Mentor police officer, was in jail Wednesday with bail set at $1 million. A woman answering the telephone at the office of his attorney, Tim Deeb, said they would not comment on the case.

Diane Stroud served on the Mentor-on-the-Lake City Council from 1996 to 2003, including one year as council president. She had been missing for six weeks, and her husband allegedly told those who asked, including family members, that she had traveled out of state, Gielink said. No missing-person report was filed.

A police report said that the body was found wrapped in plastic and bound with duct tape with a plastic bag over the head, WJW-TV in Cleveland reported. The police report also indicated that the body was stuffed into a sleeping bag, the television station reported.

Stroud was in court Tuesday and entered no pleas to charges of murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Court officials say he pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report a death.

Stroud also is a former part-time special deputy for the Lake County sheriff's office. He assisted with prisoner transport and courtroom security until he was laid off in September of this year because of budget cuts, Sheriff Daniel Dunlap told The News-Herald of Willoughby.