Suspicious death in Perry Township now ruled a homicide
PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A suspicious death near Salem is now officially a murder. And it's the first murder in Perry Township in more than 20 years.
Perry Township Police Chief Mike Emigh says the coroner just ruled the death of Ardes Bauman as a homicide.
A township officer found the 60-year-old's body burned near a van in a closed off area known as Cry Baby Bridge on October 24, 2010.
Family members say just 11 days earlier, October 13th 2010, their mom's brother, who lives in Hawaii, went to Salem and called adult protective services blaming his sister for their grandmother's emaciated condition.
But the victim's son, who owns Randy's Barbershop, says his mother was trying to keep his grandmother out of a nursing home and was overwhelmed as the sole care giver of Ruth Ziegler for years.
"Her mother was rapidly getting bedridden and was not moving around very well and things like that. Towards the end, she quit eating. My mom was actually talking with colleagues at work about the situation of my grandmother not eating," said Randy Bauman, the victim's son.
The victim's daughter didn't want to talk on camera, however did say she is upset. She claims police did not treat this as a homicide in the beginning and is fearful critical evidence such as surveillance video from nearby businesses may be lost forever.
But the police chief says he assigned a full time officer to the case back in May and always believed her death was suspicious. "We took the evidence that we could find there, along with the van; did an impound, did a search. We're still waiting for results to come back," Chief Emigh said.