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Man accused in child-sex abuse kills himself

Published: Mon, December 6, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Staff report


A man whose wife caught him sexually assaulting a 3-year-old relative ended his life with a gun.

The standoff began at 9:43 a.m. Saturday.

The wife told authorities that the child had gone upstairs to get some clean clothes at a home on Steubenville Pike Road.

The woman, who was cooking, told the child she would be up soon to help her.

When the woman went upstairs a few minutes later, she told authorities she found her husband assaulting the child.

She told a sheriff’s deputy that she grabbed the child and the suitcase containing the child’s clothes and ran downstairs while telling her husband he was sick.

Her husband, Howard McNeal, 58, said that if she called authorities, he would kill himself.

She contacted a deputy from the Columbiana County sheriff’s office, who asked if her husband had any guns. She said he did.

The woman described what she had seen in detail.

The deputy told her to take the child immediately to a hospital for a rape test.

Another deputy arrived along with a trooper from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

A deputy looked through a window and saw the man talking on the phone with one hand while his other hand was behind his back.

The deputy asked the man to show his hands, and the grandfather produced a handgun and held it to his head.

The report said the man said he did not want to talk to authorities and that he wanted to kill himself.

The county’ Special Response Team was called out while John Gamble, the chief assistant prosecutor, filed a felony charge of gross sexual imposition against McNeal, a process that took several hours.

Law-enforcement officials tried to flush out McNeal with a smoke grenade. When the smoke cleared, law-enforcement officials found McNeal dead on the floor with a self- inflicted gunshot wound.


1CassAnn(252 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank you for saving the taxpayers the money and the child the trauma of a trial. Kudos to his wife for standing up to him on behalf of the child.

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2hellokitty(161 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, kudos to the wife. So many women with these types of husbands do not report them for fear of losing "their man", and I use the term man loosely.

It's just a shame the sick f**k didn't off himself before he scarred his grand daughter for life. You can bet this is not the first time he has indulged his depraved fantasies....if not with this child, than others.

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3Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank God, this human filth killed himself. One less cockroach off the face of the Earth.

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4Morrigan(83 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

This is why pedophiles should NEVER be allowed out of prison.

And yes, too bad he didn't kill himself long before he thought to harm a child.

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Disorders of the mind destroy more than just those with mental problems . He has destroyed the upcoming holidays for his family and many more into the future . Prayers for his familiy to help them through this is all that can be done .

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6hellokitty(161 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Ditto what Stan said. Especially the Prayer part....my heart goes out to the family and little girl.

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7mabellyne(12 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank you and all the blessings life can bestow are wished for you, the wife/grandmother who wouldn't be intimidated. You did the right thing despite the fact (wich you must have known) that doing so could cause you many types of grief. You are that little girl's hero.

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8allcolorsaregoodwithme(1 comment)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I also am glad he's gone.....seems like a very sick individual....What I don't understand though is that another website said that Howard McNeal has a history of child molestation , one site said in Florida & that this man didn't want to go back to Jail.....How come the Vindicator hasn't posted his picture to see if others can see if he has molested their children?

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9hdyer30(1 comment)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I was a victim of this man for 5 years and he only got 90 days in jail when I stood up for myself at the age of 11.. I am just grateful for a amazing mother that stood by my side..To me Ive been in fear for years and it makes me sick that he has been able to torment more children..and then coward's out in the end...I hope he is paying for all of the pain and suffering that he has caused me and others..

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