Man serving prison time ID’d as suspect in North Ridgeville murder

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio-- Authorities named a suspect on Tuesday in the murder of a North Ridgeville man.

Harold Litten (Family photo)

Family and employees reported 60-year-old Harold Litten missing on April 18. His van was also missing, but later recovered in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood.

Police found his body on May 26 in an outbuilding on his property on Jaycox Road near Shawn Drive. Litten suffered blunt force trauma and his cause of death was ruled a homicide.

On Tuesday, North Ridgeville police identified the suspect as John L. Rowan, 37, of Cleveland, using DNA evidence.

Rowan turned himself into police for a probation violation just days after the murder. He is currently at Lake Erie Correctional Institution and is scheduled to be released on Oct. 15. He will be taken into custody by the North Ridgeville police.

John L. Rowan (Photo courtesy: North Ridgeville police)

Police said Rowan was doing some mechanical work for Litten at the house prior to the murder. The men had known each other for some time.

According to investigators, the suspect went to great lengths to conceal the body. The motive for the murder was robbery.

Litten's family has been hoping for answers for months.

“He was a kind soul, very nice, very generous and the most hard-working man I have ever known,” his son Alex Litten said.

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