Family Feels ‘Victorious’ Over Grand Jury Finding in Son’s Death

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SANDUSKY COUNTY, Ohio – The family of Jacob “Jake” Limberios knew he did not kill himself. Now a grand jury agrees.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that a grand jury concluded 19-year-old Jacob Limberios’ shooting death was accidental, and he did not commit suicide while at a gathering with friends in March of 2012.

Jake’s family fought to prove that he never would have intentionally killed himself.

"I think all and all we feel victorious. Our quest all along was to prove this was not a suicide," Jake’s mother, Shannon Limberios, said.

This ends a long saga for the Limberios family, who maintains the Sandusky County Sheriff's Department did not call a detective to the scene or order an autopsy before ruling Jake's death a suicide.

The family said instead, the sheriff's department went on witness statements of three other people at the home when he died.

"I feel that the bottom line is had Jacob's death be properly investigated when it happened, we wouldn't be here today," Shannon Limberios said.

Jake's body was exhumed twice - once for a private autopsy where his death was ruled a homicide, and again by Sandusky County - where a pathologist conducted a second autopsy and again, ruled his death a suicide.

Now, the state investigation shows Jake was likely holding the weapon at very close range when it fired accidentally.

DeWine said the gun had a faulty safety mechanism, meaning the gun could fire without its trigger being pulled.

"If it was a horrible accident, admit it," said Tom Dean, who identified himself as Jake’s uncle.

Shannon Limberios said her next step is get Jake’s death certificate changed from ‘suicide’ to ‘accidental.’

In Jake's hometown of Castalia, his neighbors have mixed feelings on the state’s findings.

"Only God knows, and I think that's going to be how this ends," Mike Zahel said.

"It's nice that the truth is coming out, what really happened. I know that everybody involved has to be really heartbroken, no matter what side of the story you are on," Karyn Locke said.

FOX 8 News called the Sandusky Sheriff's Department Wednesday evening for a response; we are waiting for one.

(Read more on the investigation here.)

8 comments

  • melissa

    I follow the family on Facebook and I am writing my commit on here because the commits on the Register was terrible. I am still praying for the family of their time to grieve for their son and hope that they are able to found some piece when the death certificate is changed.

  • Lawrence

    unless they’re investigating a homicide is there really any reason to involve a grand jury? just appease the family and say, “ok, we investigated more and it was an accident” and move on…it’s unfortunate, sure, but is all this really necessary just so the parents can say, “we were good parents and our kid(s) would never be depressed and commit suicide”

    • Helen

      Lawrence, it IS important. A suicide ruling could affect insurance payouts that the family would otherwise be entitled to. And beyond the financial aspect, our police departments owe it to the families of victims to do a thorough investigation any time there is an unexplained death so that justice can be done in the event that it wasn’t a suicide. And that can’t be determined until there is a thorough investigation.

      • diane taylor

        Thank you because when my son died the Middleburg Hts., police did not do one bit of investigation. Even my son’s hands were bagged and not checked. Nor was anyone else’s at the scene. The coroner even said that we could look at his criminal record for fingerprints should something come up later. My son had no criminal record, thank you! Now 14 months after his death we are still trying to get answers but thanks to the police and their non-detective work we are still no closer to answers. There is no closer for us. And everywhere we have turned for help shuts us down.

    • diane taylor

      Obviously you don’t have children. I have a son that supposedly committed suicide because the police did no investigating at all. I’m not looking to be told I was a good paren. I just want justice for my son and all I get is the run around from the police dept., prosecutors office, DeWine’s office, sheriff’s office. I hope it never happens to you but if it does you won’t be so quick to judge a parent!

  • Warrior

    @Lawrence – wouldn’t you want to know if you child committed suicide, was accidently killed, or a homicide victim? There are still questions in this case but this is a huge step and may be the best anyone can hope for. I hope it results in finding some peace for all involved. And yes a grand jury was necessary because the authorities failed to properly investigate in the first place. Had it been fully and properly investigated a grand jury would not have been required. It was an unattended, violent death, that requires an actual investigation. Who was to say it wasn’t a homicide? I’ll admit that no one actually thought that, just that it may have been someone else who was handling the gun when it fired. Regardless, I’m glad of this outcome for the family and friends.

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