UPDATE: Suspect in Ohio Valley Cold Case Murders Enters Not Guilty Plea
The man arrested as a suspect in three Ohio Valley murders that took place in the 1970s, entered a plea of not guilty in a Jefferson County courtroom on Wednesday.
65-year old Stanley Rusnak has been indicted for the murders of James Noble, Sophie Bell, and Robert Scott. On Wednesday morning, Rusnak entered his plea and had Aaron Miller assigned as his attorney. No bond was set.
Many thought the case would never be solved, however, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said his detectives, with the help of the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Cleveland Police and the FBI, never stopped investigating this case. "We have not stopped investigating in the more than thirty years since these crimes happened, and I hope the victims can now rest in peace knowing the person responsible for their deaths will be brought to justice," said Abdalla.
"What broke this case was the good detective work by local authorities over the years, along with the more recent help of our BCI investigators to assist in uncovering some new evidence," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "Despite the amount of time that has passed, this suspect will be held accountable for his actions."
Rusnak is believed to have murdered his uncle, James Kelsie Noble, 75, and Noble's sister-in-law and caretaker, Sophie Groch Bell, 52, during a home invasion at Noble's residence on County Road 11 in Piney Fork, Ohio, on April 1, 1975. Noble was suffering from terminal cancer at the time of his death.
Rusnak is also believed to have murdered Robert Scott, 78, sometime between July 1, 1977 and July 19, 1977. Scott's body has never been found, however authorities at the time did find evidence of a home invasion and homicide at Scott's residence in Rayland.
He was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at his residence on Fleet Avenue in Cleveland.