LISBON - Investigators continued Tuesday to investigate a shooting Monday afternoon which killed a state Route 45 woman and left her 5-year-old grandson injured with head wounds.
The woman has been identified as Melinda Todd, 43, and the boy as Cole Tyler Reed.
Monday afternoon, the boy was transported to Salem Community Hospital and flown to Akron Children's Hospital where he underwent surgery.
Chris Milsom, a grandfather of the boy, said Tuesday night the boy was in "very critical" condition and had been baptized at the hospital that evening. Milsom, who had just returned from the hospital, said any reports the child had died are erroneous, although the left side of the boy's head was "shot off."
"I hope everyone is praying for him," Milsom said. "He's critical, but he's a tough little guy."
Milsom identified his stepson as the boy's biological father, but said the father has not been in the boy's life. Despite that, Milsom said the boy's father was released from jail Tuesday due to his son battling for his life in Akron. The grandfather credited the staff at Akron Children's Hospital with giving the boy the best care and said he has hopes the sheriff's department can track down the person responsible for the killing of Todd and injuries to the boy.
Unfortunately, the family has already known tragedy in 2010. Cole is the eldest son of Miranda V. Todd, 24, who was convicted in June of murdering her youngest child, 7-month-old Derek Dennison in 2010. Todd is currently serving 18 years to life in the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. An appeal of her conviction is still pending.
Melinda Todd had testified during her daughter's jury trial, stating at one point Miranda Todd had gone out about two weeks after Cole was born and then called Melinda to say she was not coming back. Cole had been raised by his grandmother, who in court said Miranda would come to visit on occasion, but Cole considered her as more of a sister.
Milsom has spoken with investigators himself, reportedly telling them about two green vehicles which had been at the home. The first he described as a green SUV was there on Sunday when he and his wife dropped off Cole at Melinda's home.
"There was a guy there with nasty tattoos, who wouldn't even look at my wife," Milsom said.
Secondly, Milsom said another person saw a man with a three-day beard in a four-door, green car, possibly a Chevrolet, "beating the crap out of the steering wheel" and talking on a cell phone in the area of Melinda Todd's home on Monday. When the man saw someone watching him, he reportedly took off at a high rate of speed.
Sheriff Ray Stone said Tuesday the department was looking initially for a green SUV on Monday, but had already started on other leads. He had four investigators continuing to follow up on leads and reinterview people throughout the afternoon on Tuesday.
Investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Identification and Investigation continued to look for evidence at the house, located at the intersection of state Route 45 and Salmar Drive.
Both Stone and the county coroner's office refused to identify the victims of the shooting at this time. Stone said he wanted to be certain all family members have been notified by the coroner's office before any confirmation could be made.
Various news media outlets, including the Journal's news partner, WKBN Channel 27, identified the two early in the day Tuesday.
WKBN reported a 911 call came from a neighbor's house where two small girls ran after discovering the body of their mother. Stone had confirmed a 12-year-old girl had discovered the scene.
"My mother and my brother ... bleeding really bad, too," the voice of a girl reportedly told dispatchers.