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UPDATE: Cold Case Investigation in Jackson County, Ohio

By: Lauren Schmoll Email
By: Lauren Schmoll Email

UPDATE 2/26/13 @ 5:30 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- It's been more than two years since the family that lives at a home along Sour Run Road in Jackson County moved in.

The mother told WSAZ.com she's terrified for her kids.

Tuesday is the first time in 10 days a sheriff's deputy hasn't been parked outside their house.

On February 17, deputies showed up with cadaver dogs.

They searched the property all week, with a deputy there 24 hours a day.

For the family that lives there, as well as their neighbors, there was no explanation. Christopher Roe lives just down the road and says something like this is very unusual.

“We don't get a lot of excitement like that around here,” Roe said. “It's usually pretty quiet around here.”

The family inside the home was asked to sign a release but was given no details about why law enforcement was there.

By Friday, Ohio BCI was called in. They set up a tent and began to dig inside a shed on the property. The investigation continued into Monday. Then Monday evening, the BCI started packing up -- still, with no explanation.

The family, as well as neighbors, had heard the same rumors.

“We just kinda wondered if it wasn't a girl that went missing several years ago,” Roe said. “If they might've found her body.”

As crews were cleaning up, the family was told that investigators "found what they needed." But there is still no word on what that was.

The sheriff was out of the office all day Tuesday and had nothing new to release on the investigation.

WSAZ.com found out this is not the first time there has been a dig on the property. The people who live in the house told WSAZ.com another search was conducted for two weeks in 2011.

Investigators dug up and then covered a well, with no details ever released.

Monday, WSAZ.com was told by a family member of Patricia Donaldson that her body had been found on the property.

Donaldson reportedly lived there with her husband, Mark, when she disappeared back in 2009.

The sheriff's office refused to confirm or deny that information, saying only -- “No comment.”

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 2/25/13 @ 6 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation says it was called in by the Jackson County Sheriff's office to assist an investigation on a piece of property along Sour Run Road Friday.

Monday, the sheriff released a statement saying he and the prosecutor are reviewing cold homicide cases in Jackson County.

In that release, he says they hope this reminds the public that the investigations are ongoing and hope to bring in some tips on these cases that have gone cold.

They say they are using the Ohio Attorney General's unsolved homicide database.

On that database is: Patricia Ann Donaldson from Jackson County, Ohio. Patricia was last seen in Jackson, Ohio, on Aug. 27, 2009.

She was 33 years old when she disappeared.

Although the sheriff's office isn't confirming the information, a family member told WSAZ.com the digging is taking place at a home where Donaldson and her husband lived along Sour Run Road.

That family member also tells us that Patricia's body was found in a well on the property.

Again, Sheriff Tedd Frazier refused to confirm any of that information Monday, giving only the following statement late in the afternoon:

"I know there is a lot of activity in Jackson County at the present time. I would love to answer all of your questions. If it was harmful to my community, I'd be more than glad to answer them. Rest assured it's not a health issue. Because of the ongoing activity in Jackson County, I am not going to make any statements at this time."

WSAZ.com also spoke Monday with the mother of Roger Marks Jr.

Her son has been missing since 2009, and she said she heard her son's body had been found on that same property along Sour Run Road. Investigators told her Monday, though, that was not the case.

In an unrelated development, Patricia's husband, Mark Donaldson, was brought back to Ohio on Monday after being arrested in Florida.

Mark Donaldson was arrested in Ohio in 2009 on theft and receiving stolen property charges.

According to the Jackson County Common Pleas Court, Donaldson showed up for a hearing in August 2009, then failed to show up for hearings in September and October of that year. Warrants were then issued for his arrest. He has been on the run since.

Two weeks ago, Mark Donaldson was arrested in Miami, Florida, on a fugitive warrant out of Ohio on those 2009 charges.

He is being held in Jackson County on the charges from 2009.


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