Woman found dead in South Toledo home; son charged in slaying

Mary Bertolina. Toledo Blade employee photo
Mary Bertolina. Toledo Blade employee photo

A woman was found dead in her South Toledo home Monday after she failed to show up for work and officers were called there to check on her safety.

Mary Bertolina, 56, was found dead in her home at 3158 Winston St., about 12:30 p.m., police said.

Her son, Anthony Bertolina, 34, whom police believe resides at the home, was arrested and charged with murder. He is being held in the Lucas County jail and will be arraigned today in Toledo Municipal Court.

Ms. Bertolina was a longtime Blade employee who recently worked as regional circulation manager.

Dr. James Patrick, Lucas County coroner, said Ms. Bertolina was found on the floor in a bedroom of the house with a knife in her chest. He said she was wrapped in a blanket.

Officers who went to the house encountered Mr. Bertolina in the victim's vehicle and backing out of the driveway. They were initially told by Mr. Bertolina that she was at work. However, he told officers that she was dead as officers were about ready to enter the home.

The body was taken to the coroner's office, where an autopsy is scheduled to be performed today.

Jeff Cole, the Blade's circulation manager and Ms. Bertolina's supervisor, said Ms. Bertolina's shift started at 6 a.m. and she was usually the first one in the office. When he arrived and she wasn't there, he said he knew something was wrong.

Others had tried to call and message Ms. Bertolina, but got no response, Mr. Cole said.

At about 8 a.m., he started to send her messages and, later, an email, both to no avail.

Mr. Cole and other supervisors thought she could be in Findlay speaking to a carrier, but, even then, she would have returned calls, Mr. Cole said.

After 10:30 a.m., Mr. Cole called 911 and told a call taker it was unusual for Ms. Bertolina to not come to work and not answer calls and messages, and he asked for someone to check on Ms. Bertolina's safety at home.

"That's when it seems all hell broke loose," said Mr. Cole, who knew Ms. Bertolina for decades.

When officers arrived at the home, they encountered her son, who was leaving in a vehicle.

He reportedly told the officers he was late for a lunch appointment and denied them access to the home.

Officers said they had a bad feeling about the situation.

"Overall, she was a good person," Mr. Cole said. "A good, good person."