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Published: Monday, 1/16/2006

Fremont woman charged in father s stabbing death

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FREMONT Lona Rios wanted to watch football Saturday evening.

But her 69-year-old father and her niece s 8-year-old friend were watching the movie Seventeen Again.

Fremont police said a disagreement over the TV caused Ms. Rios to grab a steak knife and fatally stab her father, Larry Rios, in their near-downtown home in what police said is the city s first murder in almost three years.

They allege that Ms. Rios then turned the knife on her 9-year-old niece and her friend, who were both stabbed.

Mr. Rios was found unconscious on the floor of his front room, bleeding from the chest, when police responded to a 911 hangup call just before 6 p.m.

The girls had called the emergency line from a mobile phone. But the battery was so low they were disconnected before they were able to speak to a dispatcher from the Rios home at 914 North Front St., across from Burns Iron & Metal Co. scrapyard, Detective Sgt. James A. White said.

Ms. Rios, 45, was charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder and remained last night in Sandusky County Jail awaiting arraignment tomorrow, when the courts reopen after today s holiday. She had been arrested on a bench warrant in the past but had never been held in the jail before and was not familiar to police.

She is not employed, Sergeant White said.

Mr. Rios, whose given name was Hilario, was pronounced dead at Fremont s Memorial Hospital about 7 p.m. Saturday, a little more than an hour after he was stabbed. An autopsy was conducted yesterday at the Lucas County coroner s office, but results were not available last night.

Herman-Kinn Funeral Homes in Fremont is handling arrangements for Mr. Rios, a retiree from the former VarityKelsey-Hayes foundry in Fremont. His wife, Mary, who also lived in the home with Mr. Rios and their daughter, was shopping when he was attacked.

Mr. Rios s granddaughter and her friend, who police did not identify, received stitches at Fremont s Memorial Hospital on Saturday for stab wounds to their backs.

After Ms. Rios and her father argued about what to watch on television, she walked into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and stabbed her father in the chest, police said. She then walked into another room where her niece s friend had hidden behind a couch, grabbed the girl s long hair, and stabbed her in the back, according to police.

From there, police said, Ms. Rios turned on her niece who was coming down the stairs from the home s second floor. Ms. Rios met her at the stairway, pushed her to the ground, and stabbed her in the back.

Ms. Rios then, according to police, returned the knife to its drawer in the kitchen and retreated to her upstairs bedroom until police arrived.

Contact Jane Schmucker at: jschmucker@theblade.com or 419-337-7780.



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