WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Police Department is conducting follow-up interviews in regards to a 2013 case in which a Sabina woman died.
The office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on August 26 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.
In March 2013, the body of Casey L. 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. No one was charged with any crime.
The August 26 letter from the Ohio AG’s office to WPD — provided by the AG’s office upon the News Journal’s request — states, “During the course of the review process, it was confirmed the cause and manner of death was filed in 2013 as Freshwater Drowning contributed by Acute Ethanol Intoxication by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office” and “With the information provided thus far, BCI Cold Case Unit found no additional facts to support an alternative conclusion.”
However, the letter stated that the “BCI Cold Case Unit suggests the following recommendations for your consideration:
“• Attempt to interview the following individuals regarding correspondence received by initial investigators that provided alternative information about Pitzer’s disappearance [text redacted by the letter’s writer] as well as follow-up with any additional individuals discussed within Table of Contents Letters F and G.”
“• Attempt to administer second polygraph to [redacted] or follow up to see if additional polygraph was ever conducted with attorney as [redacted] suggested.”
The letter further stated, “In our experience working cold cases with a significant passage of time, relationships may change and individuals may be more forthcoming with information when previously withheld for various reasons.”
WPD Chief Ron Fithen told the News Journal on Tuesday that they weren’t reopening the case but will follow through on BCI’s recommendations.
“I’ve sent my detectives to do follow-up interviews,” said Fithen. “We’ve asked one of the gentlemen from the case to take a polygraph test. We can’t force him to take it, we have to ask him or through his attorney to take it.”
The News Journal reported last November that family, friends and over 2,200 signers of a petition were seeking to have the investigation re-opened by law enforcement in the case of the 2013 death of a Sabina woman.
Pitzer was employed as manager of concessions and maintenance for Cowan Lake and Caesar Creek State Parks.
The 1998 Wilmington High School graduate was born in 1980 in Wilmington, the daughter of Greg Pitzer and Terry Coates. She was also survived by two sons.
The petition posted on the website change.org alleged that “two men that said Casey jumped out of their truck the night she came up missing did not pass their lie detector tests” and “Law Enforcement Officials told the family that the two men passed their lie detector tests”; that “critical evidence ended up being burnt and destroyed”; and, in addition, that, “Casey Pitzer was in good shape, very familiar with water. She was good at swimming and she also kayaked.”
The petition also stated, “The family and friends of Casey Pitzer have been screaming foul play since she was found dead in 2013. The investigation and recovery was mishandled and botched.”