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Monday, July 9, 2012

$15,000 Reward For Baby Jacob’s Killer(s)

Seventeen Month Old Infant Murdered & Molested While Father And Friend Babysittingby Jack Swint

Faye Martin came home from work in the early morning hours of March 8, 1997, to find Jacob, her seventeen-month-old son, "blue, cold and lifeless." She ran down to the IGA store near her West Liberty Street apartment in Wooster Ohio to call 911 at 3:08 a.m.The rescue squad called Wooster police as required for any at-home death while the hospital staff tried unsuccessfully to revive the baby.

Jacob Mack’s father, Jerry Mack, and his friend Clyde Griffith, were the only other people at home all evening with the infant. In fact, police had responded to calls of loud music twice earlier that night but never entered the apartment. Two weeks after the child’s death, the Summit County medical examiner confirmed what police had already suspected. Jacob Mack was murdered and the cause of death was "asphyxia due to compression and blunt injuries to the head, chest, trunk, extremities and anus."

Jacob’s life had begun two months early as a premature baby on September 16, 1995. Spending those first two months in the hospital due to seizures and other complications, baby Jacob had already suffered early in life. There are reports of domestic violence with the parents on several occasions. Wooster Police and Social Services had been called to the residence at least once during Jacob’s life and noted the baby appeared to be in good health before his murder.

Authorities felt all along the death was suspicious and were only waiting on the autopsy reports before openly conducting a murder investigation. Reports show that only the two men were in the residence before, during, and after the infant’s death until the baby’s mother arrived home at around 2:45 a.m. Detectives still believe one of the two men is the killer.

A $15,000 reward is now being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for baby Jacob’s death. Why the reward now? Because Clyde Griffith, (pictured to the left) one of the two prime suspects was recently released from Ohio state prison in May 2012 after serving a sentence handed down in June of 1997 for aggravated burglary and robbery of an adult female. Griffith was out on bond at the time of the murder. He served his time in Ohio’s Lake Erie Correctional Center. He was sentenced in Medina County Ohio.

According to Ohio Department of Corrections Records, Griffith was on active supervision and living in Wayne County Ohio. Now, he is listed as having absconded from supervision and is wanted by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Adult Parole Authority for violating the conditions of his parole. He is listed as being considered armed and dangerous.

Jerry Mack (pictured to the left), Jacob’s father is living anywhere he can find a place, according to his brother. His record dates back years for misdemeanor offenses. Mack’s brother says that Jerry drifts from place to place and can’t quite get it together. When asked if he thinks Jerry’s inability to get his own life straight is related to the death of his son, the older sibling replied, "It’s possible."

At the time of the murder, Martin Frantz with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said that nothing made him want to prosecute this offense more than after attending Jacob Mack’s autopsy. But he has an obligation not to let his emotions pull him away from following the law. And it’s very discouraging when he is unable to bring charges against a suspect, even one whom he feels to be guilty without question.

Prosecutors and police feel the frustration in this case, but they have a duty to not only the victim but the accused as well. Sometimes they obtain reliable evidence but have no way of getting it to a jury when no witness will testify. Investigators are hoping even today that someone will come forward and allow Jacob’s family closure and justice to the person who committed this unthinkable murder and sexual assault of an infant child.

In 2002, Captain Don Edwards said, "I don’t think you ever lose the passion to solve a homicide like this one." Jacob’s mother has moved out of the area but remains somewhere in Ohio. Wooster City Police Chief Steve Thornton concurred with most people interviewed that the murder of an infant goes way over the line of decency even in the criminal world. The murder of anyone is unacceptable, but for someone to kill an infant child as brutally as this has to be caught and face justice.

Police are asking for the public's help, they have said not to discount the relevance of any information, it may have a significant impact on the investigation when viewed in the context of what they already know.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to call the Wooster Ohio Police Detective Bureau at: 330-287-5730

End Of Story

Jack Swint-Publisher
West Virginia News
E-Mail: WestVirginiaNews@gmail.com
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