CINCINNATI (AP) - A man stabbed to death in a suburban apartment complex in southwest Ohio was the father of three of the four children who were also wounded, police said Friday.
The children ranging in age from toddler to teens had serious injuries, Springdale police said.
“That is a focal point of our investigation,” Capt. Thomas Wells said. “That is very unusual to target children in that way.”
Wells said police weren’t going to discuss publicly the possible motives under investigation.
Police identified the slain man as Emilio M. Ramirez. Wells said investigators don’t want to release much other information to avoid compromising their probe or the safety of the surviving family members. He said Ramirez was the father of a fourth child who escaped harm in the apartment; the other child who was injured was a relative.
Wells said the mother of Ramirez’s children was apparently visiting a nearby relative.
The four juveniles were taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Their conditions weren’t immediately available Friday.
Springdale Police said in a statement released earlier that they and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation were pursuing “several leads.” They also asked the public for help in finding the person or persons responsible for the attack in the suburban city about 20 miles north of Cincinnati and just off Interstate 275.
A police statement released later Friday asked for the public’s help in finding a black male suspect police said was “reportedly involved” and would have a gash or cut to his hand or arm.
“Evidence at the scene leads us to believe the suspect sustained this injury while committing the offense,” the statement said.
Multiple agencies responded to a bloody scene in the early morning hours of Thursday. A Spanish-speaking man with a heavy accent called 911 at about 12:30 a.m. EDT Thursday. Wells said he was believed to be a relative.
Police used a hound to sniff through a nearby woods Thursday and investigators marked off blood spots, some outside the apartment.
Wells said Springdale police are keeping up beefed-up patrols “to reassure the people” in the sprawling The Willows of Springdale complex. He said violent crime is rare in the suburb.
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