CELINA — Robert and Colleen Grube were brutally murdered last November in a rural area of Mercer County near Fort Recovery. Nearly nine months after their deaths, the case remains unsolved. The Grube case is one of more than 5,100 unsolved murders in the state that date back nearly half a century.
It is a case that has personally haunted Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. It’s also why DeWine chose to come to Celina on Thursday to unveil the Ohio Unsolved Homicides Initiative. The goal is to put all of the 5,153 unsolved murders on the page to help generate tips and perhaps generate information that leads to an arrest and conviction, DeWine said.
So far, 166 cases are listed on the site, including the Grube’s.
“This is a case where we’ve worked with Sheriff Grey for nine months, we’re very familiar with the case and frankly, homicides don’t occur in Mercer County,” DeWine said. “It also illustrates the type of case that really benefits from being on this web page. No witnesses, a homicide occurs, we’ve investigated now for eight, nine months and we still don’t have anyone we can arrest. We want to use every tool that we can. It may help. It may be of assistance.”
State assistance was sought immediately Nov. 30 after Mercer County deputies arrived at the scene outside Fort Recovery and realized what had occurred. Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation agents and crime scene technicians were on location within a couple hours. DeWine even personally called Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey at home during the first weekend of the investigation.
“He was calling me to make sure that the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office had everything we needed to make sure I had all the contact information for all the people that we were going to me,” Grey said. “To me, this is how local law enforcement and state law enforcement is supposed to work together.”
The idea for the central database came a couple years ago after Ohio BCI&I Special Agent Roger Davis was contacted by officials out-of-state with information about possible murders in the state.
“The idea started in the fall of 2010. I received several calls from Colorado and Florida where they had inmates that had information regarding unsolved homicides in Ohio,” Davis said. “I sent out that information to all the law enforcment in Ohio and never received any responses. I still to this day do not know where these homicides may or may not have occurred.
“Not only can this help law enforcement query and check and compare cases, but it gives the public a centralized place to leave information or give tips regarding cases.”
Both DeWine and Grey said the Grube case remains an active case. A reward of $20,000 is now available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals involved in the murder. Grey said new tips and information continues to be uncovered and he remains confident the case will eventually be solved.
“This, by far, is the worst homicide case I’ve seen in my 32-year law enforcement career,” Grey said. “The Grube murders were brutal. I applaud the Attorney General’s effort to help draw more attention to not only this case, but also to other unsolved homicides around Ohio.”