VERMILION — Nearly three years after Jeremy Simko was killed by a single gunshot to the head in his North Ridge Road home, Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung said investigators believe they know who pulled the trigger.
“We believe we’ve identified the individual responsible for the murder of Jeremy Simko,” Hartung said Wednesday, although he declined to name the suspect.
Hartung said police have completed their investigation and are preparing to forward the case to Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will for presentation to the grand jury. Hartung said he’d like the case to be in Will’s hands by Nov. 1.
“There’s nothing more to do,” he said.
Simko’s wife, Julene Simko, called 911 just after 6 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2009, and reported that her husband had been shot in the front of the head and that he was on their bed.
She told dispatchers that someone had shot the 36-year-old tree service owner and that someone was in their house. Julene Simko also said that the doors of the house were locked and gave police permission to force their way inside.
It was later revealed the Julene Simko told police that she had fired a gun inside the house as a warning to the intruder.
Hartung has previously said police doubted Julene Simko’s account of what happened the night her husband died because the physical evidence didn’t match her version of events. Among the evidence reviewed in the case was footage taken by security cameras that the Simkos had set up on their property.
Hartung said his department has tested a large amount of evidence and consulted with other law enforcement agencies on the case throughout the investigation.
Jack Bradley, Julene Simko’s attorney, said Wednesday that he was unaware the police had wrapped up their investigation and have a firm belief that they know who killed Jeremy Simko.
He said he was surprised that police had released that information to the media without talking to him or his client.
Bradley said police haven’t shared what they’ve learned about Jeremy Simko’s death with him despite his request that they do so.
He said his client denies she had anything to do with her husband’s death, but he acknowledged that when a married person is killed the surviving spouse is often the chief suspect.
“I hope they’re not just going to the default position,” Bradley said.
Will said he couldn’t comment on the results of the investigation until he reviews what Vermilion police send to his office.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or email@example.com.