A major piece of evidence from a scary crime in Van Wert County this weekend is recovered from the bottom of a quarry. The crime could also be connected to some others which have West Central Ohio residents on edge.
The car of a man who was stabbed, burglarized, and kidnapped on Sunday was pulled up from the bottom of Middle Point Quarry Tuesday afternoon. 27 year old Daniel Hemker reported a burglary at his home in Ridge Township early Sunday morning. Hemker told the Van Wert County Sheriff's Office two men wearing masks bound him, stabbed him and burglarized his home. The men then put him in the backseat of his car, drove it to the quarry, and rigged the car to go into the water on its own. Van Wert County Sheriff Stan Owens says Hemker must have had a guardian angel on his shoulder to have survived.
"Our victim was in the back seat and secured. After hitting the water, he was able to free himself," said Sheriff Owens.
"After the car hit the bottom of the quarry, the back window shattered, and he was able to get out the back window and swim to the top and then up to shore."
Two suspects are believed to be involved in the kidnapping. Both appear to be white men in their 20's. They're believed to be using a dark colored, mid to late 90's Ford Ranger pick up truck with an extended cab. The descriptions are similar to ones from a burglary in Mercer County. Sheriff Owens says his department is working hand in hand with the Mercer County Sheriff's Department to determine if this latest crime is related to either the burglary in Mendon or a double homicide near Fort Recovery.
The investigations really are becoming a team effort. The Putnam County and Allen County dive teams handled the recovery of the victim's car.
"It's a tri-county effort. We've worked together in years past in these type of recoveries. So, once again it's a joint effort," said Putnam County Sheriff Jim Beutler.
The dive teams were cautious while retrieving the car to make sure evidence can be recovered. The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is handling evidence gathered from the crime scenes. Sheriff Owens says the victim is in protective custody.