Blood samples link Middle Point suspect to man who vanished

By J Swygart - [email protected]

VAN WERT — Van Wert County resident Dale Gear, charged with tampering with evidence related to the 2016 disappearance of a Van Wert man, will be back in court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing surrounding new evidence in the case.

Gear, 57, of Middle Point, was indicted by a grand jury in August 2021 on the tampering charge, a third-degree felony.

The original indictment alleged that Gear did, on or about June 24, 2016, “alter, destroy, conceal or remove” possible evidence related to the disappearance of Kori Glossett, a Van Wert man who had been missing since his birthday on June 16, 2016.

Prosecutors in December sought and received court approval to amend the indictment to expand the time frame of the alleged offense through July 27 of last year. Thursday’s hearing will take place in front of Van Wert County Common Pleas Judge Martin Burchfield.

Investigators have twice searched Gear’s property searching for evidence that could be linked to Glossett’s disappearance.

A search warrant was executed on Gear’s property at 304 S. Adams St. in Middle Point on July 27, 2021. On the scene were officers from the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Evidence Response Team and the Van Wert Police Department.

Investigators were at the same location in October of 2016 looking for clues in the disappearance of Glossett, whose father had reported him missing on July 21.

During the investigation it was learned that Gear had bonded Glossett out of jail on June 24, 2016, and that Glossett had spent the following night at Gear’s residence before being dropped off the following morning in Van Wert. Glossett has not been seen since that time.

Prosecutors say Gear provided statements to investigators that “were not truthful.”

Taken into evidence during the 2016 search were numerous samples of suspected blood found throughout the home and garage. The investigation was hampered at the time, however, because of limits on testing that were in place at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Three blood samples taken from a Ford F250 truck that was parked in Gear’s garage were not tested until August of 2020.

According to the document filed with the court last month by Van Wert County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steven Diller, testimony from BCI forensic experts at Thursday’s hearing is expected to reveal that three blood samples tested positive for the DNA of Kori Glossett.

The state also anticipates that the BCI employees will testify that the amount of blood would be consistent with something other than a minor cut or injury.

Based on that evidence the FBI agreed to assist in the investigation and another search of Gear’s property was conducted on July 27, 2021.

During that search a red gym bag containing a towel and sundry items was located in a laundry chute in the home. The bag was not in that location during the 2016 search, the prosecutor said. Also located in the attic of the home was a tie-dye shirt and shirts.

Diller in his court filing said the state at this time is not seeking to expand the charges against Deal.

By J Swygart

[email protected]

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