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.