GEORGETOWN, Ohio | A call to Brown County 911 for assistance after a body was found at 1962 Blue Sky Park Road, near Mount Orab, Dec. 13, turned into a long night of multiple phone calls and frustrations.
According to recordings of calls made to and from Brown County 911 from 4:59 p.m. to after 1 a.m., Dec. 14, Mount Orab Life Squad was called to the residence after a man was found shot there.
Brown County Sheriff's Office was also called to the scene, to determine if there was a safe scene for EMS to enter.
According to Brown County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy John Schadle, three deputies responded to the scene, and escorted an EMS member into the property who determined there were no signs of life in the victim.
“We turned the scene over to the coroner,” Schadle said on Wednesday.
According to records, at least one deputy left the scene at 5:24 p.m., though Schadle said he did not have the time on his report sheet; he did agree that all the deputies left EMS at the scene.
According to EMS officials, deputies had taped off the scene with yellow crime tape and left emergency medical personnel at the property, where others, including the landlord, were also at the scene.
“The situation was an exception to normal,” said Mount Orab LifeSquad Chief Lisa Reeves. “I was not there but I was consulted by the squad because of their feeling that they were not sure if the weapon had been secure, therefore making the scene unsafe.”
A request was made by EMS to have the sheriff's officers return to the scene, which was refused and questions about the reply were to be directed to Schadle.
“Once BCSO left the scene, there was no medical or fire emergency which gave us no jurisdiction at the scene,” Reeves added. “There was also a worry family members of the victim were on their way to the scene.”
With the Brown County Coroner Judith Varnau on her way, a weapon still on the scene and insecurity about safety, EMS notified 911 it was leaving the scene at 5:58.
A desperate call came in to emergency dispatch at 6:02 p.m., from a man outside the residence who said he was worried family members of the victim would arrive before the coroner and without law enforcement there, they were unsure what could happen.
A man can be heard on the call saying, “Just because Judith (Varnau) and (Brown County Sheriff) Dwayne (Wenninger) don't get along, it doesn't mean we can't have a sheriff stay here until the coroner gets here.”
In other calls from 9-1-1, Varnau was also made aware that law enforcement was not there and when she arrived at 6:31 p.m., she requested BCSO return, only to be told by 911 dispatchers that BCSO refused the request.
Varnau requested a local police department response if BCSO would not respond, only to be told that could not be done without authorization from BCSO.
Varnau ultimately made Brown County Prosecutor Jessica Little aware of the situation of the scene being taped off by BCSO and a possible unsafe scene for her to enter.
Little requested 911 dispatch to contact Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and have a special investigator come to the scene.
OBCI Investigator Ed Hunter responded to the scene and remained there until after 1 a.m., documenting the scene for the investigation.
According to Schadle, if there is a natural death or a suicide there was no active crime scene and placing crime scene tape up was sufficient to secure the scene until the coroner got there.
According to Schadle, someone at the scene told deputies the man had been depressed and gotten a gun which appeared to have been used in a suicide.
“A suicide is not a crime,” Schadle said.
Schadle said the issues between Varnau and BCSO have created situations that get blown out of proportion every time there is a death investigation.
To listen to the Brown County 911 tapes go to http://www.varnau.us/medical/bluesky.htm .