New Sheriff has renewed hope for solving Bogle murder mystery
SANDUSKY COUNTY, Oh. —
Just months after taking over as the lead agency handling the investigation into the murder of Heather Bogle, there is a renewed sense of faith within the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office.
"I'm really optimistic," says Sheriff Chris Hilton, who took over in January. "I believe there's going to be some resolution."
Hilton was elected to the position during a turbulent time for the department.
His predecessor, Kyle Overmyer was facing numerous felony charges related to prescription drugs.
"Restoring that trust factor is going to take time," Hilton told NBC 24.
Bogle was reported missing in April, 2015 after she failed to pick up her daughter after the end of her shift at Whirlpool in Clyde.
Her body was later found in the trunk of her car at a nearby apartment complex.
"If we can come to a successful resolution and prosecution in this case, that's going to go a long way to people in the community trusting the Sheriff's office again," said Hilton.
The former lead investigator on the case eventually resigned from the department after being suspended for sharing confidential case documents with another county employee.
Despite the fact three suspects were named, no arrests have ever been made.
"The direction the case took initially was not, in my opinion as an investigator and law enforcement officer, was not the direction it maybe should have gone. So that kind of set us back," Hilton said.
When Overmyer was still Sheriff, he handed to case off to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) -- a move that created some progress, Hilton believes.
Without elaborating, he suggested the focus of the initial investigation was too broad.
He believes the state's involvement helped narrow the focus.
But all this time later, Hilton says there aren't any official suspects, though he says the people who were previously identified as such remain "persons of interest."
"I believe whoever committed this crime has some very personal involvement," he says.
A longtime Perkins Township police officer, Hilton has enlisted the help of several agencies to ramp up efforts to bring the case to an end. Both the Clyde and Fremont Police Departments are involved, as well as daily help from the BCI. At any given time, there are typically three or four detectives working solely on the Bogle homicide, he adds.
Hilton says he recently met Bogle's nearly eight-year old daughter.
"When I look into that little girl's eyes, all I see is pain."
It's his motivation to find justice -- and the motivation behind his message to whoever is responsible.
"I'd like to tell them, we're coming. And, we're not going to stop until we find you."