911 call related to teens' death released
Mother finds blood and handgun at scene
Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:14 PM
OTTAWA -With a pretrial looming for the 17-year-old facing grand theft auto charges in conjunction with the recent deaths of two local teen brothers on May 9, officials are being tight-lipped about their investigation. However, on Wednesday, the Putnam County Sheriff's Department released the 911 call made by the mother of the two deceased teens and detail call sheet.
Investigators process the scene at El Crest Trailer Park May 9 after initial reports of missing teens. 911 logs report a "large amount of blood." (Putnam Sentinel/Alex Woodring)
Records show that upon Michelle Grothause's arrival at her home on May 9 to check on her 14-year-old son, Blaine Romes, she discovered a large amount of blood and a handgun. Missing were Blaine, his brother, Blake Romes, 17, and a third teen who lived in the home, whose name had previously been released but is now being withheld.
"I need a deputy to come to my house," Grothause said during a 911 call at 5:30 a.m."We have three boys that are missing, I found a gun at the house and there is blood in my place. My car is missing."The 911 log reveals Grothause telling dispatchers that while she was at work, she was unable to reach her son, Blaine, who had failed to show to board the bus for a class trip to Washington, D.C., causing her to return to her El Crest home at North Perry Street in Ottawa. Upon her arrival, she discovered the scene she described in the 911 call. In addition, missing was her car, a 2007 Chevy HHR.
Grothause was uncertain of where the gun came from but believes it may have belonged housemate Vickie Fay's former boyfriend but it was thought to be in storage. The logs confirm the gun came from a storage unit at Gossard Storage in Lima, which police searched during the investigation.
According to the sheriff's detail call sheet, Ottawa Police first arrived on scene at 5:36 a.m. With concerns the missing teens may be suffering from severe blood loss, the police first contacted all local hospitals. However, five minutes later, all hospitals reported no signs of the teens.
At 6:30 a.m., police find "muddy clothes" at the scene and request a K-9 unit to be sent for tracking.
Logs also show police checking a residence on St. Rt. 15 and a home in Elida for the missing car and teens.
Four and a half hours before the 11:21 a.m. Amber Alert, the call log shows the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) was called because the situation "could turn into a possible homicide investigation." BCI arrived on scene 15 minutes later at 7:24 a.m.
Shortly after BCI arrives, logs show investigators contacted Ottawa-Glandorf superintendent Kevin Brinkman. Two minutes later, they contact Elida schools to inquire if the third teen had shown up for school. Both schools reported back that none of the missing teens were at school.
At 9:10 a.m., officers contacted Logan County law enforcement to check Lakeside RV Campground for the missing HHR.
The Sidney Police Department reported at 12:14 p.m. they had a possible match of the vehicle at a gas station. Thereafter, officials in Logan and Hancock County report no signs of the missing teens.
At 2:08 p.m., after reports the vehicle and one of the missing teens had been found in Columbus, the logs notify authorities to "check for bodies, not just people walking around."
The log reports show the coroner was contacted at 5:30 p.m. to be en route to the El Crest trailer park location and at 6:34 p.m., Love Funeral Home had one of the victims.
That same day, police later released a statement saying "the 17-year-old male that was located in the vehicle... gave the location of the bodies of the previous missing juveniles."
According to Lt. Josh Strick, multiple agencies assisted the Ottawa police department in locating the two bodies. The department also stated the bodies were found in two different locations. Unconfirmed reports from several residents of El Crest - who wished to remain unnamed - claimed one of the bodies was found under the house trailer. The [Toledo] Blade reported the other body was found alongside Putnam County Road 7, south of U.S. 224.
Judge Michael Borer has ordered the teen be held in the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center. Assistant County Prosecutor Todd Schroeder informed the court the teen could face additional charges later on.
"It is premature at this point to say what those charges could be," said Putnam County Prosecutor Gary Lammers. "If the facts would warrant and support [a murder charge], it is on the table. But, at this point, I have not seen a report that would give me a clear indication of whether that is appropriate at this stage or not. But we will reserve that right and we will make a thorough review."
Both Schroeder and Lammers stated the investigation is ongoing.
Lammers also indicated last Friday a pre-trial could take place as soon as two weeks.
"If the facts and circumstances warrant that, all potential charges remain on the table," said Lammers when questioned about the possibility of charging the juvenile as an adult.
Reports indicate the autopsies on the two slain teens have performed. Authorities are currently withholding the results as the investigation continues.
Blake and Blaine Romes were laid to rest Wednesday morning with a service at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ottawa.