The body of Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas, 98, was discovered by police April 9 in her Portage Street home.
NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE Enlarge
WADSWORTH — A 17-year-old Wadsworth High School student faces murder charges in the death of 98-year-old Margaret Douglas.
Margaret M. Douglas
PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge
The teenager appeared Wednesday in Medina County Juvenile Court on charges of aggravated murder, murder, aggravated burglary and abuse of a corpse, county Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury said.
Salisbury said a bindover hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. May 3 before Medina County Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Dunn to consider whether the teen should be tried as an adult.
Wadsworth Police Chief Randall Reinke declined to comment Wednesday on what specifically led police to believe the 17-year-old suspect was involved in Douglas’ death, but said police discovered Douglas’ wallet during a search of the teen’s home.
The wallet is the only object police believe was stolen from Douglas’ home in the 300 block of Portage St., Reinke said.
He said the teen has been involved in lesser crimes in Wadsworth.
“He did have a previous record with us,” Reinke said. “We signed charges against him for breaking and entering, and he had, I think, one or two criminal damaging charges.”
A motive for the slaying has not yet been determined, Reinke said.
Police Lt. Dave Dorland said Tuesday that while the teen and Douglas lived in the same neighborhood, his only known interaction with Douglas was a few years ago when the he approached Douglas at her home to see if she needed any yard work or home repairs.
Douglas’ body was discovered April 9 in a closet in her home, concealed by various items and clothing. It is believed she died April 6 in the early morning hours, police said.
Police said while there were no signs of forced entry, Douglas was known to keep her doors unlocked.
Police said Douglas was reported missing by an out-of-town relative April 9, who learned Douglas’ friends had not been in contact with her since April 3.