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Using Checkpoint for Clues in Mother's Murder
BROWN COUNTY (Angenette Levy) -- Sheriff's investigators in Brown Co. tried a "unique" approach Wednesday night in their search for the killer of Brittany Stykes.
They returned to the scene of the crime and set up a checkpoint where drivers were stopped and handed a flyer asking for information in the case and advertising a $5,000 reward.
"How you doing sir? Chief Deputy Schadle with the Sheriff's Office," Schadle said as he greeted a driver.
Schadle, Brown Co. Sheriff's detectives and Ohio State Troopers spoke to drivers one by one on the stretch of S.R. 68 where Brittany Stykes's life was taken exactly three weeks ago.
Stykes was killed sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. August 28.
A person driving by found Stykess yellow Jeep Wrangler on the side of the road riddled with bullets. Stykes was not breathing and her 14-month-old daughter had been hit in the head by a bullet.
Aubree Stykes is recovering at home.
"We're hoping there would be somebody who routinely would be driving through here this time of day. We chose this time of day because it's consistent with when this offense occurred," Schadle said.
Brittany Stykes was five months pregnant. Investigators don't know whether the 22-year-old Sunday school teacher was targeted or whether the attack was random.
Stykes's husband and others have been cleared as suspects.
"There's always somebody out there that knows what happened or saw something that would give us a break in the case. That's how all cases are closed," said Brown Co. Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger.
Sheriff Wenninger hopes someone driving through the checkpoint will share something with him that they saw the night of the murder - even if it seems insignificant. Wenninger calls the checkpoint a "unique" way to reach out to the public. Drivers from Columbus, Lexington and beyond travel on S.R. 68.
Some were surprised by the flashing lights and police cars while others such as Evelyn Groh thought the checkpoint might have something to do with the murder investigation. Groh drives on 68 to go from her home to work.
"It's sort of scary driving through here knowing. Because when I come through this is the time I come through... I just hope they catch him. Him or her or whoever," Groh said.
Brown Co. sheriff's deputies say they feel like every day is going to be the day they get a tip that leads to a break in the case. They're hoping the information they gathered from drivers Wednesday evening will be useful. 500 drivers were stopped.
"We're going to find out who these people are - one or persons - and hopefully bring these people to justice and bring some closure to this family and this community here, Wenninger said.
The Dept. of Transportation assisted with Wednesday nights checkpoint.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in Stykess murder. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 513-352-3040 or the Brown Co. Sheriffs Office at 937-378-4435.