Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Positive ID made on Klusch

November 22, 2011
DEANNE JOHNSON - Staff Writer , Morning Journal News
LISBON - The body of the man found Friday has been confirmed as Gerald G. Klusch by the coroner's office in Summit County.
A cause of death of the farmer and businessman has not yet been identified.
Detectives with the Columbiana County Sheriff's department continue to investigate what has been considered a suspicious death since Klusch's disappearance seven weeks ago.
Detective Andy Sweeney went to Summit County Monday to go over the preliminary autopsy of the body with investigators. The body was found Friday afternoon down a wooded hillside off Hazel Run Road.
Sheriff Ray Stone said the area was isolated with only one vehicle going past throughout the evening while investigators were there. He believes it is likely the body has been there throughout the past seven weeks.
Sweeney and Klusch's son, Ryan, were led to the area Friday by following up on some information. Stone said Monday it was not a new tip brought out by the offer made last week by the family of a reward for $20,000. Instead, the information was from a developing lead investigators had been working on prior to the reward.
Deputies had believed the body to be Klusch's since it was found Friday, due in part to a wallet found nearby with Klusch's identification and credit cards inside. Stone said the wallet has been turned over to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, which was also there the night the body was found taking photos.
BCII previously had determined the blood found in the back of Klusch's truck was his. The white pickup was found with new damage off Beacon Light Road the day after he had disappeared. The body was found more than 15 miles away in an area without nearby homes. Investigators and volunteers had searched properties belonging to Klusch extensively. The property where the body was found did not belong to Klusch.
Stone said he spent more than an hour with Klusch's family, who now has an answer to one of their questions. Investigators now will continue to seek the answer to what happened.
Klusch, 71, U.S. Route 30, Lisbon, was last seen alive by his employee Matt Bailey when Klusch dropped him off at his home on Dungannon Road on Sept. 29.

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