Gail Lincoln had suspicions about her sister’s unexpected death in Bowling Green last month, but when her sister’s husband advertised an estate sale with “high-end antiques” over the weekend, she went to court to stop it.
U.S. District Court Judge James Carr on Friday issued a temporary restraining order barring Robert Brown from holding the sale or disposing of any of the assets of his late wife, Dawn Glanz, pending further order of the court.
Ms. Glanz, 66, an art historian who taught at Bowling Green State University, died May 9 in her home. Her death is considered “suspicious,” said Maj. Tony Hetrick, deputy chief of the Bowling Green Police Division.
“There are some irregularities in regards to what we would normally find in a natural-death situation,” Major Hetrick said. “I’m not going to go into any details about it. We are continuing to look into this.”
He said police are working with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Wood County Coroner Douglas W. Hess on the case.
A spokesman for Dr. Hess said Monday that neither a cause or manner of death has been determined, but that the case remains “under investigation.”
“I don’t know what the future holds for the investigation,” Major Hetrick said. “We continue to diligently look at everything. We’re just trying to find out what happened.”
Jerome Phillips, attorney for Mr. Brown, said his client also wants to find out what happened.
“He has no idea. That’s the problem,” Mr. Phillips said. “Other than he went there and found her unconscious, and there was blood in the bathroom.
“She had suffered some medical issues in the past,” Mr. Phillips said. “He called the authorities, and they came out and investigated.”
While police said there was no evidence of forced entry to Ms. Glanz’s Bowling Green home, Mr. Phillips said Mr. Brown was not there at the time and does not know if his wife might have allowed someone to enter.
Mr. Brown, 68, and Ms. Glanz were married in 2001. Mr. Phillips said they had homes in Toledo and Bowling Green. The couple had gone out to dinner and gotten ice cream the night before she died, he said. Mr. Brown then spent the night at the Toledo house; Ms. Glanz went home to Bowling Green.
According to the complaint filed against Mr. Brown by his wife’s sister, Ms. Lincoln of Ketchum, Idaho, Mr. Brown “reportedly indicated that Ms. Glanz suffered a stroke, which caused her death, however, injuries found during a preliminary examination of her body suggested the cause of death may have been from unnatural causes.”
Ms. Lincoln turned to the court after learning of an estate sale planned for Saturday, a sale that apparently was being held despite Mr. Brown having not opened an estate in probate court for his late wife.
Ms. Lincoln said in the complaint that she and her brother, Filson Glanz, “may have some legitimate claims to some of the property being offered for sale.”
In addition to stopping the sale, the suit seeks compensatory damages in excess of $200,000 and punitive damages of at least $75,000.
Attorney Rick Kerger, who represents Ms. Lincoln, said his client doesn’t know whether Mr. Brown was involved in Ms. Glanz’s death, “but based on what we’ve seen, we had reason to proceed as we did and protect the assets of the late Ms. Glanz.”
As far as he knows, the estate sale did not take place.
“I got up at 6:30 a.m. Saturday and went to the house and saw out front a small sign that said, ‘Estate sale canceled,’ ” Mr. Kerger said.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.