I-Team: Why it took so long for police to arrive after abducted woman called 911

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ASHLAND - The Fox 8 I-Team is investigating the response after a woman called 911 in Ashland this week whispering that she’d been kidnapped. We found that more than 19 minutes passed before police actually rescued her and arrested the suspect.

Investigators arrested Shawn Grate and they say they also found two dead bodies at the home.

The woman first spoke to a 911 dispatcher with the Sheriff’s Department in Ashland. Then her call had to be transferred to a regional call center 20 miles away.

The Ashland Police Chief says after the call came in at the regional center, 5 minutes passed before police were dispatched. The chief points out the woman didn’t have an exact address, so that second dispatcher had to gather information about the house and the suspect. The woman on the phone said the suspect was sleeping.

Once officers got dispatched, they started arriving at the scene in 4 minutes. They did not go with lights flashing and sirens blaring because they didn’t want to spook the suspect.

Once there, the Chief says officers had to figure out which building was the right one. Officers also stationed themselves in different positions in case the suspect ran.

Police got confused when the woman described a door inside without a knob. Police thought the door was outside and spent time looking for it there.

Eventually the dispatcher reassured the woman police had arrived on scene. Then at last, the rescue and arrest. Nearly 20 minutes after the 911 call began, but the Chief and dispatch supervisor say, given all of the circumstances, a delicate situation like that couldn’t be rushed.

Shawn Grate has now been indicted on charges of murder and kidnapping. Police say he is also tied to a third killing in Richland County.

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