Ottawa Community Still Mourning Two Murdered Brothers
May 17, 2013: Ottawa, OH - More than a week after the bodies of two Putnam County brothers were found, the City of Ottawa continues to grieve, and the investigation into the deaths continues.
On Wednesday, Blake and Blaine Romes were laid to rest after a funeral mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, but still missing are the answers as to how and why the boys were killed.
Autopsy reports on the brothers have not been made public. The boys were originally two of three subjects of an Amber Alert last week along with a third boy. That juvenile was captured in Columbus when he stopped at a gas station to ask directions. Shortly afterward he told authorities where to find the bodies of the Romes brothers.
A memorial fund has been set up by extended family members to help with the teens' burial and funeral expenses. Donations to the fund may be made at any local Huntington Bank in the names of "Romes Memorial Fund" or directly mailed to Romes Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 13, Leipsic, OH 45856. Donations may also be made at any Union Bank branch in the names of Blake and Blaine Romes. DHI Staff Report
According to Ottawa-Glandorf Schools Superintendent Kevin Brinkman, teachers were notified the night of the deaths and meetings took place Friday before any classes. The district also brought in counselors from Putnam County Educational Service Center's crisis team and Pathways Counseling Center to aid any student who needed help coping with the news.
"Our heart goes out to the families, and also to the friends of the people who are involved," said Brinkman.
Brinkman stated the boys will be missed by the school district.
"Both of the boys were very well-liked by their classmates and they were good kids," he stated. "They were a pleasure to have in our building."
Brinkman also expressed pride in how well the students were handling the ordeal and reported that "it has gone remarkably better than what we expected."
The school's website also posted condolences stating, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Blake and Blaine. We ask that you respect the students and staff and only take statements from the designated authorities. Again we ask for your prayers for the families and local community."
The series of events began Thursday, May 9, at 5 a.m. when Blaine Romes, 14, failed to arrive on time for his class trip to Washington D.C. Thirty minutes later, his mother, Shellie Grothaus, arrived at her Elkcrest Trailer Park home to what Lt. Josh Strick described as a "crime scene." Later reports indicated the possibility of blood at the scene.
Upon her arrival, missing were her two sons, Blaine and Blake Romes, as well as a third 17-year-old juvenile. All three teenagers were residents of the Elkcrest Trailer Park home. Also missing was Grothaus's silver 2006 Chevy HHR which the third boy was driving when he stopped in Columbus.
Multiple agencies assisted the Ottawa police department in locating the two bodies. The department also stated the bodies were found in two different locations. Unconfirmed reports from several residents of Elkcrest Trailer Park who wished to remain anonymous claimed one of the bodies was found under the house trailer. The [Toledo] Blade reported the other body was found alongside Putnam County Road 7, south of U.S. 224.
The third teen appeared last Friday in Putnam County Juvenile Court where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of grand theft auto. It has not been released whether or not he will be tried as an adult.
A memorial fund has been set up by extended family members to help with the teens' burial and funeral expenses. Donations to the fund may be made at any local Huntington Bank in the names of "Romes Memorial Fund" or directly mailed to Romes Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 13, Leipsic, OH 45856. Donations may also be made at any Union Bank branch in the names of Blake and Blaine Romes.
DHI Staff Report