Tempers boil over at council meeting


WILMINGTON — Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting became heated during the public comment section when Greg Pitzer, father of Casey Pitzer, expressed disappointment with the City of Wilmington and the Wilmington Police Department.

“It’s been a daunting task to obtain information and the truth from the start,” said Pitzer. “It’s like no one wants to solve my daughter’s case or even talk about the existence of my daughter.”

In March 2013, the body of Casey Pitzer, 32, was discovered in a retention pond around SR 73 and US 22/SR3 about a week after she went missing. Her body was sent to the Miami Valley Crime Lab for an autopsy, and authorities determined the cause of death was drowning.

On Thursday evening, Pitzer said that he and others had been investigating on their own and came across some “very interesting developments.”

He referenced a document they found in regards to a report by Detective Scott Baker. The report deals with security footage from Walmart. The parts Pitzer highlighted were: a vehicle being seen at 12:44 a.m. “traveling down (eastbound does not slow down or turn onto 73 Bypass” and then at 12:45 a.m. “same vehicle comes back (westbound) on Rombach enters the parking lot and exits Progress Way.”

Pitzer said this shows there are inconsistencies in the information from police and from subjects who were interviewed in the case.

“To this day I still have not seen the Walmart video showing my daughter’s last seen being alive,” he said. “Where is the video and why can’t I see it?”

After Pitzer’s time was up, Darrell Petrey, who has also been advocating in the Pitzer case, expressed similar feelings though adding stronger statements. This included accusations there is shadiness and corruption within the city. Petrey ended his time expressing harsher resentment toward the mayor. More heated comments came after council president Mark McKay expressed disapproval of what was being said.

Both Pitzer and Petrey continued to voice frustrations they had and eventually left the meeting. Pitzer continued to make comments calling individuals “pieces of crap.” During the heated exchange, Mayor John Stanforth could be seen smiling.

“I really sympathize with the gentleman,” said Stanforth, citing his own loss of a child, in response to questions from the News Journal. “We’ve had this thing investigated. There’s nothing I could say to him that will comfort him.”

In regards to whether he was smiling or not during the heated moments, he advised he doesn’t recall doing so.

Stanforth told the News Journal he plans on addressing the case at the next Wilmington City Council meeting.

The Wilmington Police Department chief was not in the office Friday when the News Journal attempted to contact him.

Greg Pitzer, along with others, feel that his daughter’s death was not an accidental drowning.

In January 2022, family and friends and over 2,200 others signed a petition to reopen her case.

In August, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office notified the Wilmington Police Department that, after a review by the Ohio BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation) Cold Case Unit and based on the information the BCI has, the BCI confirmed the originally determined cause of death, and declined to re-open the case at the state level.

The letter did give suggestions to consider, including interviewing specific individuals and a second polygraph case on a subject.

In January, Wilmington Police Chief Ron Fithen told the News Journal he sent a letter to the FBI asking them to do an independent review of the Pitzer case.

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