Police In Ohio Close Cold Case Murder After Witness Speaks Up From Hospital Bed 53 Years Later


John Oyewale Contributor
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Authorities in eastern Ohio closed a sixty-year-old cold case Saturday four years after a hospitalized man for fear of death admitted to witnessing the murder and identified the suspect, according to a police statement.

The homicide victim, 43-year-old Daisy Evelyn Shelton of Dayton, was murdered and dismembered in 1964, after which her remains were found in several locations, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) said in the statement. A fisherman fetched an arm of Shelton’s from a gravel pit near Tipp City in June 1964, another found a burlap bag containing Shelton’s torso in a channel of the old Miami Erie canal four days later, and still later authorities found Shelton’s head and one of her legs in the canal, the statement revealed.

“The investigation went cold until 2017 when a witness of the murder, who feared he was dying while in the hospital, made a confession to a nurse” and then “survived and was interviewed by detectives,” the MCSO’s statement continued.

The key witness confessed to observing the suspect fatally bludgeon Shelton with a hammer in a home, after which Shelton’s body was cut up and scattered about in water bodies in and around Tipp City, the MCSO said.

The suspect — whom investigators interviewed multiple times — reportedly “[i]nitially…denied knowing Daisy Shelton despite their living on the same street and working for the same employer” but reluctantly admitted to knowing Shelton in August 2017. (RELATED: Police Charge Man In Cold Case Of Single Teen Mom Found Dead Nearly 50 Years Ago)

The suspect also asserted that the witness had the suspect’s DNA on the box used to transport Shelton’s dismembered remains as a set-up but admitted that Shelton was possibly killed in his home and the box was in his home, according to the statement.

The suspect also “admitted he looked guilty and could possibly be convicted in court,” the MCSO added.

The witness reportedly testified before a Grand Jury but died before prosecution got underway. The suspect reportedly died in September 2022, aged 92. The MCSO named neither of them in the statement.

“It’s very shocking that a human being can do that to another human being,” Maria Walling, Shelton’s granddaughter, told WHIO TV while reflecting on the grisly murder. “I mean, what kind of animal are they?”

A third suspect was implicated in the murder, according to the outlet.

Remarking that cold case murders ranked among the most difficult for investigators, the MCSO added, “Revisiting cases is a crucial aspect of bringing a sense of justice to the victim’s family, even if it comes long after the crime occurred.”

The MCSO closed the case with the approval of the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office, the statement noted.