You never know what you’re going to find when you’re rummaging through a loved one’s most personal possessions, and for a Perry County family, that couldn’t be more accurate.
"They found a grocery sized bag of human hair," said Junction City Police Chief Amy English.
Relatives of 70-year-old John Moore turned over the bag to Chief English.
"There were just so many colors, multiple styles, lengths, as varied as hair can be," said English.
That bag of hair prompted police to launch an investigation, and a background check revealed a troubling history. The man worked for three different trucking companies, owned a septic cleaning company as well as a traveling carnival business. It doesn’t stop there.
"There had been reports of sexual abuse within his family," said English.
Moore does not have a criminal record and he now lives miles away in a Columbus nursing home, suffering from dementia and not mentally competent to stand trial. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is still trying to get to the bottom of this case by digging for clues at his former home on East Main Street.
"There were two recessed areas in the floor of this foundation that were of interest," said English.
So far the search hasn’t uncovered any remains, but a longtime neighbor, who wished to keep her identity anonymous, wasn’t sure what to think when she received the phone call.
"This is a small town and hardly anything happens until now they’re digging for bodies," she said. "He was kind of a different guy, but he didn’t seem to bother anybody. He did his own thing."
Investigators have submitted the hair to a lab for DNA testing with the goal of finding a match to a missing person’s report.
"At this point it’s really about bringing closure to a family that’s missing a loved one," said English.
"I just pray to God that nothing comes out of what they’re doing up here."