Possible homicide being investigated

MARIETTA – The Marietta Police Department called in the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation Tuesday to investigate a possible homicide on Groves Avenue in Marietta.

Yellow caution tape roped off the mobile home at 139 Groves Ave. Tuesday evening where a 68-year-old white male was found dead on arrival earlier in the day, said Marietta Police Department Capt. Jeff Waite.

Police were reluctant to give out details, citing the ongoing investigation, but said they planned to release the victim’s name this morning.

However, next door, 47-year-old neighbor Mark Swaney watched in shock as an investigator pulled what appeared to be a bloody towel from a burn barrel in the back yard.

“One of the officers was taking pictures of the area and he goes to photograph inside this barrel and it looks like he sees something,” said Swaney.

The officer then pulled out a towel covered with dark crimson stains and then went to relay what he had found to other officers, said Swaney.

“Seeing him find that towel was like something you’d watch on Discovery or Syfy,” said Swaney.

Despite the presence of BCI and the red-stained towel hanging in the back yard after its discovery, the Marietta Police Department will not definitively say it believes the death is a result of homicide or suicide.

“Any death that is not attended by a physician is treated as a possible homicide,” said Sgt. Greg Nohe, who added that he was called to the scene around 12:30 p.m.

The deceased male was not the home’s owner, but rather an acquaintance of the man who lived there, he said. Nohe identified the dead man as a Marietta resident, but would not say if he lived nearby.

Richard Haught Jr. lives at 139 Groves Ave., said neighbor Jeff Harris, who was shocked to learn of a possible homicide in the neighborhood.

“It’s pretty much an older neighborhood and it stays pretty quiet,” said Harris.

But Haught’s home had not been quiet Monday night, said Swaney.

“It was just really loud music all night (Monday) night,” he said.

Nohe said the department had not received any noise complaints regarding the residence Monday night or early Tuesday.

Nohe would not comment on the nature of the death or whether a weapon was found in the home.

Aside from questioning neighbors, Nohe would not say if they were looking for anyone else for questioning.

The home’s resident had been questioned but not taken into custody, he said.

“No one has been charged with anything as a result of this dead body,” said Nohe.

The city was not releasing the name of the deceased Monday night, pending notification of the family.

Nohe anticipated investigators would be on scene until late in the night. The body was expected to be removed around 11 p.m. Tuesday and transported to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office in Dayton for an autopsy, he said.