WEST BELLAIRE - Although there have been no suspects arrested in connection with the brutal murder of 92-year-old Lydia Ashworth late last month, the reward offered by the Forest Hills Community Association is continuing to grow.
After a meeting last week, it was announced that the West Bellaire-based association had placed $5,000 in a fund.
"The fund has significantly increased," said Rosann Lofton, contact person at Belmont Savings Bank, 3301 Guernsey St., Bellaire, Ohio, 43906, which is the depository for the fund. She didn't want to publicly disclose the current amount in the fund.
"There are some elderly people in that neighborhood who are really upset," she added.
Also attending the meeting were Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk and Senior Patrol Officer J.J. Watson, who stressed to association members the Bellaire Police Department's total commitment in solving this heinous crime.
Kovalyk added, "We welcome any information anyone may want to give our department, and that the good people of Bellaire will come together as they have in the past to help in keeping our community safe."
The Bellaire Police Department can be contacted at 740-676-3322.
Ashworth was discovered shortly after noon on June 30 by a family member who came to the 124 Fourth Ave. home after not being able to contact the victim.
Authorities have said that the perpetrator, or perpetrators, entered the rear of the home with robbery as the motive. Ashworth was allegedly killed during the robbery.
No further details of the murder have been released, but two units from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation were at the crime scene for a lengthy amount of time after the body was found.
Kovalyk said Ashworth's body was removed and transported to the medical examiner's office in Newark, Licking County.
As of Tuesday, Kovalyk has gone on record as saying his department is still following up some leads.
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