Former Mentor Police Officer Indicted on Murder Charges

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A Lake County grand jury had indicted a former Mentor Police Officer for the alleged murder of his wife.

A 12-count indictment was issued on Monday against Gary S. Stroud for the aggravated murder of 53-year-old Diane Stroud on or between Oct. 9 and Nov. 27, 2011.

Gary S. Stroud has been indicted on several counts including aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse.

The body of Diane Stroud was found inside the garage of the family’s home at 5610 Marine Parkway on Sunday, Nov. 27.

Dr. Lynn Smith, the Lake County coroner, confirmed last week that the cause of death was ruled to be blunt force trauma.

Stroud appeared in Mentor’s Municipal Court last Tuesday morning and was formally charged with causing Diane’s death. He was ordered held on a $1 million bond.

Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Chief John P. Gielink told Fox 8 News last week that Diane had not been seen in six weeks and that Gary Stroud told his adult children, one of whom lives in the home on Marine Parkway, that Diane packed up some of her belongings and left the state.

Chief Gielink added that Diane’s body was so badly decomposed that authorities had to wait until dental or DNA records could confirm her identity.

An incident report obtained by Fox 8 News states that Diane’s body was found wrapped in plastic and bound with duct tape. A plastic bag was found over Diane’s head, which was also wrapped in duct tape. The report indicates the body was stuffed into a sleeping bag.

Lake County Sheriff Dan Dunlap says Stroud is a retired Mentor Police Officer, who until recently worked part-time at the sheriff’s office. He mainly worked security in the courtroom and on bank runs, Dunlap said.

Stroud worked for the Lake County Sheriff’s office from 2006 until September of this year and was let go due to budget cuts, Dunlap said.