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The Medina County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office, has transferred the investigation into the death of former Lafayette Township Trustee Bryon Macron to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The bureau will put a “fresh set of eyes” on the investigation, BCI public information officer Jill Del Greco said Wednesday.
During a June 6 teleconference call with the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices and BCI representatives, BCI agreed to assume primary responsibility in the investigation.
“It was a mutual decision,” Sheriff Tom Miller said.
“The investigation conducted by sheriff’s detectives answered many questions surrounding this tragedy,” a joint statement from Miller and Prosecutor S. Forrest Thompson said. “Unfortunately, many questions remain in this ongoing investigation. The primary goal for expanding BCI’s involvement is to ensure that every available investigative resource is brought to bear in order to find answers for the Macron family and the community.”
Miller said the sheriff’s office has used BCI’s assistance in the past, but it has never transferred a case since he’s been sheriff.
Macron’s death was ruled “undetermined” in July.
The body of 45-year-old Macron, reported missing Dec. 16, 2016, was found floating in Chippewa Lake on Feb. 21, 2017, by a kayaker.
County Coroner Dr. Lisa Deranek, however, said no water was found in Macron’s lungs, which could mean he died before he went into the water.
“I cannot substantiate if Macron was or was not breathing when (he) entered the water,” she said in July.
“I think there are some other factors that are involved ... the cold temperature, hypothermia. There also could have been some aspect of his death dealing with the water, but I cannot substantiate that with the autopsy.”
Deranek has said Macron suffered six stab wounds, including a long wound on his neck.
“None of the wounds alone caused Macron’s death,” she said. “They would cause some blood loss, but not his death.”
Of BCI taking over the investigation, attorney Richard Lillie, who represents Macron’s widow, Victoria, said: “We’re pleased that the prosecutor decided to make this decision. We think this case could definitely use a new set of eyes, some new analysis.”
He said it’s not uncommon for cases to be transferred to BCI.
Lillie, of Lillie & Holderman in Cleveland, said Victoria Macron has stayed strong since the death of her husband.
“She’s tough,” he said.
Del Greco outlined what BCI’s role would be now that it has taken on the case.
“It will re-examine the investigation and see if there are any other avenues to go down,” she said. “It will look at the evidence that’s been gathered. It might conduct some additional interviews and look at forensic evidence.
“It’s something they have expertise doing.”
Township Trustee Mike Costello said any answers the family and community can get is a “positive thing.” He said an agency like BCI will have more resources at its disposal than a local sheriff’s office.
Macron’s toxicology reports showed positive results for alcohol. An initial drug screen noted the presence of amphetamine, which has Deranek said could be attributed to the decomposition process.
Former sheriff’s Capt. David Centner said in July that investigators believe no one else was involved in Macron’s death. Centner is now Hinckley Township’s police chief.
Blood and footprints in Macron’s office at the township administration building were his, Centner previously said.
“No additional blood from anyone else was obtained in or around the administration building, or in or around his vehicle,” he said, noting investigators collected DNA samples from township first responders and employees.
Macron, who also was survived by three daughters, was buried March 8, 2017, at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman.
Leading up to Macron’s death, Centner previously said Macron accrued a “large amount” of financial debt and engaged in other “personal behaviors” that reportedly were unknown to his family and friends.
Lillie, however, has said Macron’s financial situation was “not at all dire.
“We don’t know if the financial problems caused him to say or do anything ... but we don’t believe that it did.”
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