Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined the Boardman Township Police Department and the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office has found a connection between two decades-old cases in the township.

During the news conference held June 8 at the Boardman Township Administrative Building at 2 p.m., officials linked the cold case of 13-year-old David Evans, who went missing in January of 1975 to Joseph Norman Hill.

In January, Boardman police identified Hill, who died in 2019 of natural causes, as the suspect in the Easter weekend 1972 slaying of Bradley Bellino. He was 32 years old at the time of the murder.

Police say 98% of his DNA was found on Bellino's clothes.

Hill lived on Shadyside Drive in Boardman at the time of the Bellino murder but moved to Yucaipa California in 1978 where he resided until his death in July of 2019. During his time in Boardman, Hill was a truck driver for an area bottled water company.
According to Yost, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) forensic laboratory applied the latest DNA technology to the case and obtained an offender profile, which was then compared to the profile in the Bellino case.
Ultimately, it was determined that Hill also was responsible for Evans’ death. In both cases, the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office determined that the forensic evidence would be sufficient to present the cases to a grand jury for indictment if Hill had remained alive.
“While Hill cannot be fully held accountable for these horrendous crimes, our hope is that after almost 50 years knowing who is responsible for Bradley and David’s deaths can bring some sense of closure to their families and friends,” Chief Werth said.
Officials say they are looking for any connection between Hill and a 15-year-old boy Thomas Baird who was found beaten in the township and later died after the hospital, however, the Baird cold case doesn't match the Evans and Bellino cases, according to detectives looking at the case but aren't ruling anything out.
Police Chief Todd Werth said there also is a possibility Hill is responsible for other murders.
 "Sometimes heroes wear lab coats," said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. "With advances in science, we can finally find answers to old mysteries."