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County sheriff seeks murder information

December 6, 2012
Morning Journal News

SALEM - Investigators continued to follow leads Wednesday, two days after the death of Melinda Todd in her Salem Township home.

County Prosecutor Robert Herron confirmed Wednesday afternoon a person of interest is being investigated.

He said investigators from the sheriff's department and the county-wide homicide task force were actively working on the case and his office was providing warrants as requested.

Herron said some of the information being provided by tips appears to be turning out to be worthwhile.

"I would encourage anyone who knows anything to come forward at this time," Herron said.

Sheriff Ray Stone said there have been some people eliminated as suspects due to confirmed alibis. For instance, the father of 5-year-old Cole Tyler Reed was in the Mahoning County jail. Todd's boyfriend and another friend also had alibis which checked out, the sheriff said.

Stone said he believes the crime may have happened sometime Monday afternoon, but had not received any official time of death window from the coroner's office as of Wednesday.

Investigators have been canvassing the neighborhood and Stone said no one claims to have heard anything out of the ordinary. Stone said there was no sign of forced entry at the home, but noted he did not know if the door had been locked.

On Wednesday, a deputy was once again going up to the hospital to check on the 5-year-old. Stone said he hopes if the boy regains consciousness he may be able to help investigators solve the case, which includes the death of his grandmother, Melinda Todd, 43, and his own injuries.

Deputies were called to the home at the intersection of state Route 45 and Salmar Drive shortly after 4 p.m. Monday after Todd's 12-year-old and 8-year-old daughters discovered the crime scene when coming home off a school bus. Inside, they found Todd dead and Reed seriously injured with a gunshot wound to the head.

Stone declined to say who the children are staying with, but believed it to be family because Children Services was not contacted to take them.



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