CLAY TWP. — Gallia County Sheriff’s deputies are currently investigating a “suspicious death” that occurred on Monday afternoon in Clay Township, Gallia County.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon by Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning, the sheriff’s office is investigating the death of Zane T. Taylor, 33, of 1841 Ohio 218, Gallipolis.
At approximately 2:05 p.m. on Monday, June 11, deputies responded to the scene of Taylor’s home after friends found him unresponsive and contacted sheriff’s dispatchers.
Browning reported that the circumstances surrounding Taylor’s death are suspicious, and Gallia County Coroner Dr. Daniel Whiteley has ordered the body to be sent to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.
“Sheriff deputies, along with Ohio BCI&I [Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation] agents have been questioning and interviewing associates of Taylor’s throughout the evening yesterday [Monday] and have conducted a search of his home,” Browning stated.
The sheriff further stated that more information will be released pending the results of the autopsy.
Anyone with information that may assist law enforcement officers in this case is encouraged to call the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office tip-line at (740) 446-6555.
This incident follows three other death investigations that have occurred in Gallia County in 2012.
David A. Ramey, Sr., 39, Vinton, has been accused following a first incident that occurred on the morning of February 15 on Hartsook Road in Huntington Township.
Ramey allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife, Stephanie R. Ramey, 28, and has been charged with one count of aggravated murder, one count of murder and one count of disrupting public services as a result of the incident.
The defendant is scheduled to appear for a jury trial in the Gallia County Common Pleas court on July 16.
A second alleged murder reportedly occurred during the early morning hours of March 1 after the disappearance of Betsy Ball, 67, Morgan Township, whose remains were found near the Village of Vinton, in a rural area approximately five miles from her home on Wilder Road, during the afternoon of March 1.
Lee Hawkins, 48, Bidwell, who had been employed by the Ball family at their farm, was named as the only suspect following Ball’s death.
He was arrested on March 13 following an investigation into the incident by the sheriff’s office.
Hawkins is facing charges of aggravated murder, murder, tampering with evidence and the abuse of a corpse in the common pleas court.
A jury trial in this case has been scheduled for August 20.
A third homicide occurred earlier this year in Gallia County near Kanauga on February 22.
Reportedly, Thomas Marr, 29, was found dead in his Addison Township home just prior to 12 p.m. on the day in question after a call was placed to the Gallia County 911 Center in reference to the victim who was reportedly having trouble breathing.
Marr later expired as a result of an apparent stab wound.
Further details about this case have not been released and sheriff’s office officials have previously indicated that the case remains under active investigation.