Troubling news from Morrow County, Ohio.
According to neighbors, in April, 2007, Heather Rausch (Billy's adult sister) committed suicide in the Rausch's Marengo residence. A terrible tragedy for a family already suffering loss-- Maura was close to the extended Rausch family and even stayed in the home during the Christmas holiday before she disappeared.
In an attempt to verify details about this tragedy, though, I've received some very odd pushback from local authorities. During a visit to the Morrow County Sheriff's office last week, I was given a report by police in which the scene was described. In the report, the officer mentions that a note had been tucked into her waistband. When I requested further information, including statements and details about the note's contents, I was told the case was still open and the office could not release any information because detectives were still investigating it for possible criminal charges.
This is the first time, as a journalist, that I've ever heard of an "open" suicide investigation.
Before you begin spinning conspiracy theories, my hunch is that I was told the case was "open" so that they would not have to provide the records. I am going through other channels to see if the case is actually being worked on. However, I spoke to Morrow County prosecutor Charles Howland (no fan of the First Amendment) today and was told in no uncertain terms not to expect the records anytime soon.