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Published: Friday, 1/5/2001

Man sought in Wauseon slaying held in Indiana

BY DEE DRUMMOND
BLADE STAFF WRITER

ANGOLA, Ind. - Steuben County sheriff's deputies late last night were interviewing a man wanted for questioning in the shooting death of a Fulton County woman whose body was found in her home Wednesday.

Deputies found Christine Sullins, 35, shot in the head in her Chesterfield Township home, near Wauseon, just before 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The discovery was made after deputies received a 911 call from the victim's brother, Sheriff Darrell Merillat said.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Paul H. Gahagan, 35, of the same address, charging him with having weapons while under disability. Gahagan has a previous drug-related conviction.

A spokesman at the Steuben County Sheriff's office - which is about 50 miles west of Wauseon - said deputies were interviewing Gahagan late last night. He would not release further details.

Fulton County deputies said earlier in the day they were seeking more information about Gahagan.

“We don't know that much about him yet. We're learning as we go,” Deputy Roy Miller said.

Officials said they did not know what the relationship was between Gahagan and Ms. Sullins. An autopsy for Ms. Sullins was set for today, Dr. Ben Reed, county coroner, said.

Neighbors said they knew little about the people who lived in the home, but some said they had been worried about pit bull dogs at the house. “There was always a bunch of guys there goofing off in the yard, firing guns, and target practicing,” said Matt Funk, 19, of Wauseon. “They seemed friendly, but they just kind of stayed to themselves.”

The one-story house was owned by Ronald Henricks, who died in May, 1999, county records show.

Mr. Henrick's son, Jason Henricks, showed up at the Fulton County dog warden's office yesterday afternoon to claim a large female pit bull that was removed from the home after the shooting, Dog Warden Pete Skeldon said. Mr. Skeldon was called about 1 a.m. to remove the dog, which was locked in the bathroom. Ms. Sullins's body was still in the home.

“They had to get into that room to finish their investigation and couldn't until I removed the dog,” Mr. Skeldon said. “When I looked over on the floor as I was trying to get this pit bull out, what I saw was horrific.”

Jason Henricks was unable to claim the canine because the rabies tag was for a different dog.

Blade staff writer Mike Sigov contributed to this report.



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