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CTY search21 7-21 Michele Flynn of Cincinnati and a cousin of Brian Martin, left, assigns volunteers to search locations. Friends, family members, and others gathered in Toledo on Sunday to search for Brian Martin, who is believed to have been killed June 22.
Michele Flynn of Cincinnati and a cousin of Brian Martin, left, assigns volunteers to search locations. Friends, family members, and others gathered in Toledo on Sunday to search for Brian Martin, who is believed to have been killed June 22.
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Published: Monday, 7/21/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Search party scours area for missing Michigan man

Family organizes event with local law enforcement

BY MARLENE HARRIS-TAYLOR
BLADE STAFF WRITER

About 60 volunteers spread across northwest Ohio Sunday looking for a missing Ypsilanti, Mich., man believed to have been murdered in Toledo.

The family of Brian Martin, 52, who disappeared in Toledo on June 22, organized the search with the help of local law enforcement officials, said Mr. Martin’s cousin Michele Flynn, who is from Cincinnati.

Mr. Martin’s wife and two daughters, who live in Ypsilanti, did not participate in the search but several of the volunteers were friends and family who came from the Ann Arbor/​Ypsilanti area.

Police have charged Robert and Desirae Strauss, both 36, of 2140 Consaul St., with murder. They believe the couple bludgeoned Mr. Martin to death in their first-floor apartment inside a red-brick duplex at 2140 Consaul St.

Martin Martin
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Ms. Strauss is scheduled for arraignment today on murder charges after being brought to Toledo from Indiana on Friday. She was arrested July 8 in Anderson, Ind., on a parole violation.

Mr. Strauss remains in the Madison County, Ind., jail in lieu of $80,000 bond pending extradition to Ohio.

Police initially said Mr. Martin’‍s body may be in a barn or shed somewhere between Toledo and Anderson, Ind. Ms. Flynn said, however, she was recently told that Indiana has been ruled out by law enforcement.

The volunteers gathered at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4906 on Consaul just steps away from the home where police believe Mr. Martin was murdered. They fanned across the Toledo area in groups of two or three, but it was unclear exactly where all the search parties went. The family asked reporters at the meeting to leave the building when the maps were handed to volunteers. Ms. Flynn also instructed many of the participants to avoid talking with the news media.

Some of the search groups went east of Toledo, driving through rural areas near Elmore, Oregon, and Jerusalem Township, stopping to examine abandoned barns and other structures on foot.

“We have looked at about 20 so far,” said Brent Yeupell, a West Toledo resident who read about the search in The Blade and decided to volunteer. “I thought they could use some more eyes,” he said.

Mr. Yeupell and two other volunteers from the Ann Arbor area, Spenser Ford and Sue Goldsmith, were assigned to Corduroy Road and looked at several properties near North Norden and North Curtice roads.

“They told us not to trespass on any private property and to call 911 if we spot anything,” Mr. Ford said. “We don’t want to screw up anything for the police.”

Ms. Flynn said the goal was to cover the fringe areas around Toledo where there are barns, woods, and water in one day. She would not specify how long the search will continue. The family has also established a Facebook page “Help find Brian Martin” to assist with the search.

Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor at mtaylor@theblade.com or 419-724-6091.



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