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LISBON Man awaits sentencing; wife missing since June



Published: Sat, September 29, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The charge is not related to his wife's disappearance.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- A man whose wife is missing awaits sentencing on a charge stemming from his driving a car used by his wife before she disappeared.

Clifford Hill, 32, of Guilford Lake, pleaded guilty Friday before Judge C. Ashley Pike of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a fifth-degree felony.

Judge Pike set sentencing for Dec. 3. Hill could receive a maximum one-year sentence.

He was arrested June 18 in Guilford Lake in possession of a car used by his wife, Tracy, 24, of Sprucevale Road, Middleton Township, who was last seen June 7.

The car belongs to Tracy's mother. Authorities said Clifford Hill did not have permission from Tracy's mother to use the vehicle.

In court Friday, Hill told the judge that his estranged wife had given him permission to use the car. But he acknowledged not having the mother's approval.

Hill has not been named as a suspect in his wife's disappearance.

Unrelated charges: He faces several other unrelated charges.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 11 before Judge David Tobin on a theft charge, to which Hill pleaded guilty earlier this month.

He is accused of stealing aluminum and other items from a Columbiana business in April. He could be sentenced to a year in jail for the offense.

Hill is to be tried beginning Feb. 27 on three counts each of forgery and receiving stolen property.

He was accused in March and May of forging two personal checks and a money order.

Hill has been in the county jail since his June 18 arrest and remains there.

Authorities have said they are continuing to investigate his wife's disappearance, but they say the investigation is stalled after months spent following leads and searching several locations in and out of the county for a body.

The search included sending divers into the waters of Guilford Lake, west of Lisbon, for several days this summer.




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