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Published: Tuesday, 12/9/2008

Bond set at $300,000 for woman accused in Northwood murder

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Sarah Bunch Sarah Bunch
NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

Bond was at $300,000 for the 20-year-old woman charged with murder after a man was found in his burning home in Northwood.

Sarah Bunch, of 1929 Sharon Drive, was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Perrysburg Municipal Court after the body of Robert Porter was found inside his house at 350 West Andrus Rd. when authorities responded there about 4:30 p.m. Monday on a report of a fire.

The victim was found in a rear room while firefighters doused a blaze that appeared to have started in a front bedroom, authorities said.

Paul Dobson, the chief assistant Wood County prosecutor, said Mr. Porter died of at least one gunshot wound to the head and said that during questioning by police, Miss Bunch admitted to shooting Mr. Porter and gave a reason for it, but authorities Tuesday afternoon would not release details of that confession, nor would they say how the two knew each other.

Following the fire, Miss Bunch was taken to Bay Park Community Hospital and spent 6 to 7 hours there before being taken into custody, although Mr. Dobson declined Tuesday afternoon to say why she was taken away in an ambulance.

Several of Miss Bunch's relatives were in the courtroom but declined to comment afterwards.

Article appeared in earlier editions of toledoblade.com.

Woman charged after police find man dead in Northwood fire

A 20-year-old woman is being held in the Wood County jail without bond in the death of a man found in a burning home in Northwood Monday afternoon, authorities said.

Sarah Bunch, of 1929 Sharon Drive, was charged with murder, authorities said. She is scheduled to be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. in Perrysburg Municipal Court.

The body of Robert Porter was found inside his house at 350 West Andrus Rd. after authorities responded there about 4:30 p.m. on a report of a fire.

The victim was found in a rear room while firefighters doused a blaze that appeared to have started in a front bedroom, authorities said.

Article appeared in earlier editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

Death at fire in Northwood under inquiry

A dying man was found inside a burning home on a Northwood street late yesterday afternoon, but it was unclear whether his death and the fire were directly related.

"This is a police matter," Northwood Fire Chief Tim Romstadt said outside the house at 350 West Andrus Rd. where the victim was found in a rear room while firefighters doused a blaze that appeared to have started in a front bedroom.

Authorities did not identify the victim. But according to Wood County land records, the home belongs to Robert Porter.

A cousin of Mr. Porter and several of Mr. Porter's friends said he lived there alone.

"That is Bob's house," said Ron Cousino, of Holland, a co-worker of Mr. Porter's at the University of Toledo who went to the scene after seeing pictures of the single-story, wood-frame house on television.

The death, Chief Romstadt said, is "suspicious." The man died in a Northwood rescue squad vehicle at the scene while rescuers worked to save him.

The fire, reported at 4:32 p.m., caused minor damage, Chief Romstadt said.

Dr. Douglas W. Hess, Wood County coroner, was at the scene last night, as was a Northwood Police Department fire investigator and detectives. An autopsy is scheduled for today at the Lucas County Coroner's Office.

Mr. Cousino said Mr. Porter was a carpenter for the university who was close to retiring, and who had been married several times and had at least one child and three grandchildren.

Mr. Cousino described his co-worker as "a real nice guy."

Rich Hopkins, a friend of Mr. Porter's who lives nearby on Plumer Street, said, "he was always working in the house, remodeling stuff."

Tom Sevra, a cousin from Moline, Ohio, who works at a factory near the Porter residence, said Mr. Porter didn't smoke and didn't have any enemies.

"I couldn't tell you anybody who didn't like him," Mr. Sevra said.

About two hours after the fire call, an ambulance came to the scene and took a young woman away, but Chief Romstadt said that was unrelated to the incident at 350 Andrus. The woman's father saw the rescue vehicles at the scene and asked for help for his ill daughter, the chief said.



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