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Report: Ruth Hook

Report of DSG Ruth E. Hook, investigating officer at the scene.


I was notified by the dispatcher that a teenaged girl had been found unconscious or dead by the side of Sarrett Avenue near Henderson Drive at 8:15 pm on June 3rd. I proceeded immediately to the location. When I arrived the victim was still lying by the road,attended by the man who had made the 911 call on his cellular telephone,Mr. Frederick Sladowski. Based on the victim's injuries, the location of the body, and other evidence at the scene, I concluded that the victim had most likely been struck by an automobile and killed. The emergency medical technicians (Loretta Renquist and Martin Pendal) arrived soon after and confirmed that the girl was deceased. I was able to take a few photographs of the scene before the victim was removed entirely. I requested backup from the dispatcher. Renquist and Pendal transported the victim to Allen Memorial Hospital where she was officially pronounced dead.

Sarrett Road runs roughly north-south in the vicinity of the accident.The victim was lying on the west shoulder of Sarrett Road when I arrived,and according to Mr. Sladowski, was in much the same position as she had been when he arrived. A large cornfield is located to the west of the road;there is a residential area to the east. Several signs around the cornfield indicated that the area had been recently sprayed with atrazine herbicide.Several pieces of broken glass were found near, under, and on the clothing of the victim. Her green shirt had been torn slightly, and it was evident that she had been run over by an automobile. Tire tracks were present in the sand near the body, but had been disturbed by footprints. These footprints were determined to belong to Mr. Sladowski, Ms. Renquist, Mr. Pendal and me, as we had unavoidably made marks while attempting to assist the victim.I have submitted the glass and samples from her clothing to the crime lab for analysis. I took a statement from Mr. Sladowski at the scene.

While the other emergency personnel and I were working at the crime scene,a Mrs. Sarah Ferris approached us. She was worried because her sixteen-year-old daughter had left their home minutes before Mrs. Ferris heard our sirens.I escorted Mrs. Ferris to Allen Memorial Hospital, where she positively identified the victim as her daughter, Rebecca Ferris. I took a statement from her at the hospital as she preferred to give it immediately rather than wait. I also contacted her husband, who was out of town on business,and requested that he fly home immediately.

After finishing at the hospital, I returned to the station, where Patrolman Patrick Grove brought to my attention the fact that a man had been stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol about three or four miles from the site of the accident. Grove pulled him over a little after eight o'clock on June 3rd, at which time he failed a standardized field sobriety test and was transported to the station to be subjected to a blood alcohol test. The results of the blood alcohol test have not yet returned from the lab, but I questioned the man, Mr. Bradley Kimmer, on the morning of the fourth, in hopes that his answers might prove relevant to the case. His statement is attached. I also took the opportunity of examining the exterior of Mr. Kimmer's car and found a small scrap of fabric caught in the front bumper. I discovered that the right front headlight of the vehicle had been broken, and took a sample of glass from it.

On June 4th I began a phone canvass of mechanics in the Newtown-Oberlin area in search of cars brought in to have glass replaced. This resulted in primarily negative results, but Keith Becker of Ammon Automotive reported that one vehicle had been brought in that morning with a broken windshield.The owner of the minivan is a Mr. Peter Andrew Bredon. I went to Ammon Automotive to collect a glass sample from the vehicle. At the same time I also conducted a visual inspection of the exterior of the minivan and the portions of the interior that were visible from the windows. I found a small scrap of lightgreen fabric caught in the minivan's bumper. There was no obvious damage to the vehicle besides the broken windshield. Inside the vehicle I saw a plastic bag containing white powder which I suspected was an illegal drug.A sample from this bag has been submitted for analysis. I also took statements from Keith Becker at Ammon Automotive and Peter Bredon at the Oberlin Police Station. I left word with all the mechanics to whom I spoke to notify me if any more vehicles with broken glass were brought in for repairs.

When I returned from Ammon Automotive I returned a telephone call to Miss Simone Argones, a student who attends the same high school as the victim.She reported that she had hit Rebecca Ferris with her car last night and wanted to come to the police station to make her statement. I took a statement from her and examined the car she was driving the night before. Her car has a broken front right headlight from which I took a small glass sample.I also found a large number of green fibers caught in the broken headlamp.I have submitted the glass and fabric for examination.

After interviewing Miss Argones, I visited the home of Miss Nora Okampa, the friend whom the victim had been going to see when she was struck and killed. Miss Okampa confirmed that the victim had not reached her house that evening, and informed me of the possibility that the victim had recently begun to use illegal drugs. I then requested the crime lab to analyze the victim's blood for drugs and/or alcohol in addition to the other analyses I submitted.