Tri-Village News

Grandview police

Human bones, drug raid make for interesting two weeks

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The last two weeks have been notable ones for Grandview Heights police with the discovery of a human skeleton at Grandview Yard and the confiscation of more than 12 grams of heroin.

Just after 10 a.m. Saturday, March 2, a couple walking their dog in the 1000 block of Edgehill Road discovered human remains that were positively identified as those of a 64-year-old man who was reported missing in May 2012 after he walked away from Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.

Preliminary autopsy results on Kenneth C. Whitfield of Pittsburgh were not conclusive, but all indications are he died of natural causes, Grandview Police Chief David Wood said.

No foul play is suspected, Wood said.

"It looks like he just laid back and died," he said. "The remains were skeletal with his clothes on, wearing a watch and with his hospital band still on his wrist."

The couple discovered the remains when their dog pulled them over to a weedy area, Wood said.

Grandview police notified the Columbus Police Department's homicide division "just in case," he said, and also called the county coroner's office to the scene.

"We believe his death occurred not too long after he walked out of the medical center," Wood said.

In another noteworthy case, Grandview police working with the Columbus SWAT team arrested four people Feb. 26 and recovered 12.75 grams of black-tar heroin.

The arrests were made at a residence in the 700 block of Lawndale Avenue in Columbus and resulted from an investigation of activity at a nearby home on Lock Road, Wood said.

"Along with the heroin, we were also able to confiscate bath salts and some cocaine as well as about $400 in cash," he said.

For the past several weeks, Grandview police officers have been investigating into the illegal trafficking of black-tar heroin in and around Grandview, he said.

The investigation revealed the heroin may have been coming from individuals in the area of Lock Road and Lawndale Avenue, Wood said.

Grandview police officers Greg Gillespie, Zach Scurlock and Ryan Starns were involved in the Feb. 26 raid, he said.

"I'm really proud of these officers and I think this shows we will stop at nothing to seek and find the people responsible for spreading this terrible drug in our community," Wood said.

The investigation and latest raid are related to a Dec. 26 incident in which Gillespie stopped a vehicle at Dublin Road and West Fifth Avenue and discovered more than 20 grams of black-tar heroin in the vehicle. The two men in the vehicle later were charged with felony drug trafficking.

"All told, we've been able to recover about 40 grams of black-tar heroin," enough to make about 400 dose units, Wood said.

Charges against the four people arrested Feb. 26 are pending and the investigation continues, he said.

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