STEUBENVILLE - The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation has been requested to aid City Police in the 2007 murder of Joshua Schoonover.
Police Chief William McCafferty said Thursday Kelly Schoonover, mother of Joshua Schoonover, requested the state agency join the investigation, "and I agreed. I have no problem with BCI taking a look at this murder case."
"We have done a very thorough investigation since the murder three years ago. During the past year we have conducted more interviews and pursued more leads, but we remain at a standstill. I believe BCI will provide a look at the case through different eyes. And we want to solve this murder. This is still a very active investigation," said McCafferty.
VIGIL HELD — Kelly Schoonover looks at her grandson, Joshua Schoonover Jr., and his mother, Kim Taylor, Thursday during a candlelight vigil to remember Joshua Schoonover. The 21-year-old city resident was murdered three years ago at a house on Kendall Avenue. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification is expected to assist City Police in the murder investigation.
-- Dave Gossett
Joshua Schoonover, 21, the father of three children, was found dead in a Kendall Avenue home, a three-minute walk from his Foster Avenue home, in January 2007.
Police officers responding to reports of shots fired found the front door shattered and Joshua Schoonover lying on the floor inside the residence.
Kelly Schoonover was joined by 30 family members and friends at 5 p.m. Thursday for what has become an annual prayer vigil at the house where her son died on Jan. 21, 2007.
Joshua Schoonover's two sisters, Nikita and Kendall, sobbed as they read poems dedicated to their brother.
After the 20-minute candlelight vigil Thursday, Kelly Schoonover said she was encouraged by BCI joining the murder investigation.
"But this should have happened sooner. I called the Ohio Attorney General's office and asked what could be done. That was three months ago and now BCI is supposed to come in for an investigation. Someone out there knows who shot Joshua and it is still on their conscience," said Kelly Schoonover.
"I believe this murder is looked on as a black-on-black crime so people don't care as much. But it is still tough to live knowing my son's murderer is still walking around free," Kelly Schoonover added.
Kim Taylor is the mother of one of Joshua Schoonover's three children and was engaged to the 21-year-old at the time of his murder.
"Three years later it is still very painful for me and my children. Their dad isn't here for them. I don't cry every day like I used to but I haven't moved on with my life since that day," Taylor noted.
"I really feel a lot more could and should have been done to solve this case. Three years later and the murder is still unsolved," said Taylor.
She noted she was encouraged by the number of people who attended the vigil Thursday.
"Several of Josh's friends were here this year and my dad and brother came for the first time. People care about this case and want it solved," stated Taylor.
Kelly Schoonover said she also will organize a public picket line at the city building later this year.
"Once the weather gets warmer we will be back in front of the police station asking for answers," she said.
"In any criminal case there is only so much information we can release to the public or to the family. We are continuing to investigate this case. We won't ever quit," said McCafferty.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)