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Warrants executed in Leetonia teacher’s death

LISBON — No arrests have been made in the homicide shooting death of Leetonia teacher Michelle Long, but Columbiana County Sheriff Brian McLaughlin said Friday at least two search warrants have been executed, with more to come.

“Our person of interest is still our person of interest,” he said.

One of those search warrants was executed Thursday at the home of Long’s ex-husband, William P. Long Jr., who resides at 807 N. Market St., Lisbon. His father, William P. Long Sr., 72, Endley Road, Lisbon, ended up arrested for his actions while Columbiana County’s Special Response Team was there with the search warrant.

William P. Long Sr. appeared for video arraignment Friday morning in Columbiana County Municipal Court, where he pleaded no contest and was found guilty of obstructing official business, a misdemeanor. He was released on a recognizance bond, with sentencing set for Dec. 14.

According to an affidavit filed by sheriff’s Deputy Robert Sanchez, loud and clear lawful commands were given for all occupants of the address to come to the door. Two people complied, then the defendant came to the door and immediately began to passively resist while other officers could see multiple other people inside the residence. The defendant had to be forcefully removed from the doorway, resulting in the charge, since his actions delayed law enforcement officials in removing everyone from inside.

McLaughlin wouldn’t release details about the search, the gun involved in the homicide or the victim’s injuries, but confirmed that Michelle Long was shot to death. A relative discovered her body Wednesday night in a vehicle on her property on Carey Road in Butler Township after she failed to pick up her son. The sheriff’s office received the call at 9:28 p.m.

McLaughlin appealed to the public again and asked that if anybody has information about the shooting or video to contact the sheriff’s office by phone or through its app. The sheriff’s office detective bureau can be reached at 330-424-7255.

Michelle Long served as the Leetonia High School math / STEM / industry teacher, junior high robotics coach and junior high track coach. News of her death hit the school administration and students hard.

Grief counselors were on hand both Thursday when the school district staff and students learned what happened and again on Friday. The Leetonia girls basketball game was canceled Thursday night but the boys basketball game Friday and games today were still taking place.

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