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COLUMBIANA COUNTY Police are closer to an arrest in Wellsville homicide



Published: Tue, September 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The victim knew his killer, the prosecutor says.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- Progress is being made in solving the Aug. 26 shooting death of a Wellsville man, Columbiana County Prosecutor Robert Herron said.

Herron credited Wellsville police with conducting a vigorous probe into Craig Roberts' death.

"It's only a matter of time before the Wellsville police identify" the killer, Herron said Monday.

The probe into the killing has produced suspects, he said, refusing to comment further.

Previously, authorities have said little about the crime, but Herron noted Monday that Roberts, 43, was shot twice in the head in the master bedroom of his home at 502 Wells-Hollow Road, Wellsville.

The shooting occurred sometime after midnight and before 6 a.m., when a household member found Roberts in the bedroom and called police.

Roberts died later Monday or early Tuesday at a Pittsburgh hospital, where Herron said he was brain dead and kept alive by life-support systems.

Investigation

Authorities think Roberts was shot with a handgun by someone he knew, Herron said. The firearm used in the crime has yet to be recovered, he added.

There was no sign of struggle in the house, Herron said. He noted, without elaborating, that there were other people inside the home when the shooting occurred.

Roberts lived with a woman and some of her family members, he said.

Investigators already have ruled out robbery as a motive. Herron refused to comment further, but he indicated that investigators know what lies behind the killing. An official ruling is pending from the Allegheny County Coroner's office, but Herron said there's no doubt it is a homicide.

Roberts was a businessman who operated a vehicle towing enterprise from his home.

His death is the third homicide in Columbiana County this year.

leigh@vindy.com




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