Sumner family suing warehouse owner, city

Cindy Sumner / Courtesy family of Cindy Sumner

The family of Cindy Sumner, who disappeared from her north Toledo neighborhood on August 6, 2009, have filed a lawsuit against the man police have charged in connection with her murder, the owner of the warehouse where her body was found six weeks after her disappearance, and the city of Toledo.

Timothy and Mary Sumner filed the lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on August 5. They are seeking $35,000 for funeral expenses and other losses. They are seeking punitive damages as well. The case was assigned to Judge Linda Jennings.

Named in the suit are Elhadi Robbins, who is currently incarcerated in the Lucas County Jail awaiting trial on murder charges in connection with Sumner's death; Select Property Group, LLC and their agent, Harold O. Miller, of Sarasota, Fla who own the warehouse where Sumner's body was found; and the city of Toledo whom they claim had actual and constructive knolwedge of the dangerous conditions that existed at the warehouse.

Police and volunteers conducted an extensive search of the neighborhood following Sumner's August 6 disappearance. Family and friends continued to search until police found her body in an abandoned warehouse at 1510 N. Elm St.

The Lucas County Coroner determined that Sumner died of blunt force trauma to the head, probably near the time of her disappearance

Cindy Sumner suffered from cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. She was described as having the mentality of a child of approximately ten years of age.

Shortly after Sumner's body was discovered, police arrested Robbins for failure to report his address as a sex offender and for probation violations. Later, police obtained a warrant for DNA and footwear owned by Robbins.

Robbins was indicted on February 2, 2010 by a Lucas County Grand Jury. Robbins is a registered sex offender in Lucas County and has prior convictions for using a minor in nudity oriented material. Robbins is scheduled for a pretrial hearing before Judge Myron Duhart. No trial date has been set. Robbins is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on August 23.