Teen suspect charged in deaths of Putnam County brothers

Michael Fay
Michael Fay

OTTAWA, Ohio -- A teenager who is charged with the deaths of two boys he lived with will appear Tuesday in Putnam County Juvenile Court on two counts of delinquency in connection with aggravated murder.

Michael Aaron Fay, 17, is facing the charges for the May 9 deaths of Blake Aaron Romes, 17, and Blaine Romes, 14.

Gary Lammers, the county prosecutor, said his office has asked Juvenile Judge Michael Borer to transfer the case to Putnam County Common Pleas Court, where the teenager can be tried as an adult. A hearing on the transfer motion has not been scheduled.

The first police officer on the scene of the double murder observed blood throughout the mobile home and followed its trail into a bedroom and then to the back entry door, according to court documents released today.

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After being summoned to the home by owner Michelle Grothause because her two sons and a third boy were missing, Officer Jason Kottenbrock of the village of Ottawa Police Department followed a trail of blood from the hallway into one of the bedrooms.

The bodies of Blaine and Blake Romes were found late May 9 after the Fay youth was arrested in Columbus in a vehicle stolen earlier that day from the family's home in Otttawa.

Mr. Lammers said each teen was shot once, and that one of the boys was strangled.

The Fay youth allegedly hid the body of Blake in a crawl space under the trailer and put the body of his brother in a ditch near County Road 7, about a mile east of Ottawa, the prosecutor said.

Blake's body was found not too far from the back entry on the west side of the mobile home, an entry that Officer Kottenbrock stopped at after he followed a trail of blood from the bedroom.

Looking out, he saw tire tracks and reported "it appeared as if something was drug through the grass." The tire tracks led away from the mobile home trailer, the officer reported, and Ms. Grothause told him that her 2006 Chevrolet HHR was missing.

At that point, officials believed that all three of the teens had been abducted and "one or more may be injured," so schools, hospitals, and medical centers were contacted, but no one reported seeing the three teenagers.

An Amber Alert was issued and the Fay youth was found in Columbus with the missing car.

During the initial search of the mobile home, Victoria Fay, the mother of the suspect who also lived at the residence, identified the .22 caliber found on a couch as belonging to her. She said the Fay youth and another son were the only ones with access to it.

The affidavit indicated that a magazine to the gun was found on the floor of the mobile home.