TOLEDO, Ohio – A diamond ring has surfaced as critical evidence in a Cincinnati-area murder, and investigators think it could be somewhere in northern Ohio.
Brandon Simms, 33, was shot to death after he, his fiancée, and their 2-year-old daughter returned to their Woodlawn, Ohio, home on July 19, 2013. The family was confronted by two armed men, who shot Simms and his fiancée. She survived the shooting, and their child was uninjured. The suspects stole a number of items, including this engagement ring:
The ring is believed to have been sold shortly thereafter in the Toledo area, possibly to a University of Toledo student during a college party. Investigators believe that the person who purchased the ring was unaware that the ring was stolen.
“We have no reason to believe that the person who bought the ring has any idea that it is connected to a brutal crime that took the life of a man, injured his fiancée, and left his young daughter without a father,” said Attorney General DeWine. “We are hoping to find this ring because not only is it critical to the ongoing murder investigation, but it also clearly has sentimental value to the family of Brandon Simms.”
Investigators with BCI and the Woodlawn Police Department later arrested Brandon Harris 24, of Cincinnati, in connection with the crime. They think Harris is the person who sold the stolen ring during the party sometime between July 20, 2013, and October 31, 2013. Harris was indicted in 2014 on charges of aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, kidnapping, and aggravated burglary.
A reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of the ring.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446).