Man found guilty in cold case murder of woman in Stark County

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Kenneth Roth (Photo courtesy: Stark County Sheriff's Office)

STARK COUNTY, Ohio — A man was found guilty Friday in the cold case murder of a woman in her Stark County home, and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office said a jury found Kenneth Roth, 67, guilty of aggravated murder in the death of Linda E. Van Voorhis Smith. The 61-year-old was found dead in her Osnaburg Township home on December 9, 2009.

“I am pleased that our collaborative efforts related to the continued investigation of this brutal murder case have resulted in justice for the victim and her family. The hard work and persistence of everyone involved in this case is a true testament to their commitment to a safer Stark County,” said Stark County Sheriff George Maier.

In 2013, when Sheriff Maier took office, the case was presented to him. He directed investigators to take another look at the case for new leads. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) reexamined the evidence and, through new technology, identified DNA Roth left at the scene.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office said its detectives, along with BCI, provided critical evidence that helped the prosecution’s case show Roth was a handyman for Voorhis Smith before he strangled her with a piece of clothing in her home.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.