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Ohio cops share lesson from missing women case

Published: Fri, September 13, 2013 @ 1:53 p.m.

COLUMBUS (AP) — One lesson learned from the headline-grabbing discovery of three women held captive for a decade is the need to be careful about who gets through police perimeters outside such crime scenes, Cleveland police Chief Michael McGrath said today.

Outside the house where the women were held, several people initially got inside the police perimeter because of “who they were” — McGrath didn’t specify names or roles — and then publicly shared details they overheard, making it harder to manage the chaos as the story unfolded in May, McGrath said.

“In hindsight, that’ll never happen again,” he said as police and public safety representatives recapped the case today at a state conference for public information officers. He said his department will work to be more observant about who accesses such areas outside crime scenes.

The speakers said the city’s priorities in handling the case were protecting the victims’ privacy and the integrity of the investigation, and managing the throngs of local and international media that descended on the city in the days after the women were found.

They said city representatives had contact with more than 400 media representatives in relation to the case.

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