TV show yields cold-case buzz, but no arrests


FREMONT — Five months after a cold-case homicide investigation was featured on the television show, Cold Justice, a Sandusky County grand jury heard evidence from the 1988 slaying but returned no indictments.

Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt said Tuesday the television show led to development of “some new evidence” in the slaying of Isabel Cordle, but apparently not enough to charge anyone in her death. The grand jury heard evidence over three days last week, he said.

Mrs. Cordle, 49, was beaten over the head with a hatchet as she slept on a couch in the living room of her home along U.S. 20 just west of Bellevue. A bloodied hatchet was found leaning up against a tree in front of the house, but no arrests in the Jan. 24, 1988, case were ever made.

Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer resurrected the investigation last year after he was contacted by producers of the TNT crime show. The reality show examines cold cases with the goal of solving them.

The show’s Oct. 15 airing resulted in a flurry of calls, emails, and tips, the sheriff said. Some of it was useful information, some was just speculation.

“Years ago, they interviewed a handful of people. We interviewed about 50 people — that’s a lot of people,” Sheriff Overmyer said. “Any time you can learn something, even if it’s a trivial piece, it helps you move forward.”

While no indictments resulted, the sheriff said it was still a valuable exercise.

“We have come a long ways from 25 years ago,” he said. “If we stop now, I don’t think that’s the right answer, so I think you put the pieces back together and you move forward with any leads you have.”

Sheriff Overmyer said he was disappointed the renewed investigation did not lead to an indictment.

“When you start any kind of investigation or project, you can’t give up,” he said.

— Jennifer Feehan