Cold case

STEUBENVILLE – A Cleveland man arrested at his home by U.S. Marshals Wednesday afternoon is being charged with three counts of murder dating back to the 1970s, according to a press release from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Mike DeWine and Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla announced Wednesday special prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Section presented evidence to a Jefferson County grand jury, which returned a three-count indictment against Stanley Rusnak, 65.

U.S. Marshals with the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force took Rusnak into custody at his Fleet Avenue home and he will be brought back to Jefferson County to face the charges in connection with the deaths of his uncle, James Kelsie Noble, 75, Noble’s sister-in-law and caretaker, Sophie Groch Bell, 52, and Robert Scott, 78.

Rusnak is believed to have murdered Noble and Bell during a home invasion at Noble’s residence on County Road 11 in Piney Fork in southern Jefferson County on April 1, 1975. Noble was suffering from terminal cancer at the time of his death, according to the release.

Rusnak is believed to have murdered Scott sometime between July 1, 1977 and July 19, 1977. Scott’s body has never been found, however, authorities at the time did find evidence of a home invasion and homicide at Scott’s residence in Rayland.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Investigators handled the cases, with assistance from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

“What broke this case was the good detective work by local authorities over the years, along with the more recent help of our BCI investigators to assist in uncovering some new evidence. Despite the amount of time that has passed, this suspect will be held accountable for his actions,” DeWine said in the release.

“We have not stopped investigating in the more than thirty years since these crimes happened, and I hope the victims can now rest in peace knowing the person responsible for their deaths will be brought to justice,” said Sheriff Abdalla. “(Wednesday’s) arrest has been a long time coming, and I am very appreciative of the support of Attorney General DeWine in investigating these homicides.”

Rusnak is scheduled for an initial court appearance on Aug. 13.