The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 15, 2012

Murder in Madison

Suspects being held on a $1 million bond in Lake County

MADISON TOWNSHIP —  Township police continue to investigate the murder of a 77-year-old woman, as the suspects, a mother and son, are held in Lake County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Danna M. Weimer, 53, Sexton Road, Austinburg, and her son, Zachary R. Weimer, 22, East Maple Avenue, Geneva, appeared in the court of Judge Michael Cicconetti at Painesville Municipal Court Thursday. They were each arraigned on first-degree felonies of murder and aggravated burglary and entered pleas of not guilty.

While court records show their addresses in Ashtabula County, Lake County records indicate the Weimers have connection to a Canterbury Drive residence next to the victim’s.

“We are not sure if they had been staying or living there,” said Police Chief Len DelCalzo.

Ashtabula and Lake county records also indicate the Weimers have a criminal past: Danna with charges of disorderly conduct, domestic violence and resisting arrest; and Zachary with charges of assault, drug abuse, and a February 2012 open case in Ashtabula for criminal damaging or endangering.

According to police records, officers were dispatched to the Canterbury Drive home of Eleanor M. Robinson about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. A neighbor became suspicious, alerted Robinson’s family, and the police were called to the home.

Reporting to what was believed to be a welfare check at a quiet subdivision not known for trouble, police entered the home to find it torn apart.

“The house had pretty well been ransacked,” DelCalzo said. “Most of the rooms had been ransacked, dumped drawers, things turned over and rummaged through... it was obvious there was more to this call.”

Concerned for the welfare of the elderly resident who lived alone, police were unable to locate Robinson or her vehicle.

“We didn’t have a good feeling about her whereabouts, so we immediately put her information out there,” DelCalzo said.

A statewide Silver Alert for a missing elderly person with mention of a possible robbery and abduction was issued.

A short time later, Euclid Police Department advised township police they had two suspects in custody from an earlier traffic stop.

“They discovered property linking them to the information that we put out in our Teletype,” DelCalzo said, adding that a substantial amount of jewelry was among the stolen property.

However, the suspects had not been driving Robertson’s vehicle during the traffic stop. As of Thursday evening, authorities were searching for the red, 1995 Plymouth Voyager.

“We have video of the male suspect driving the red van in Ashtabula County,” DelCalzo said.

With the suspects in custody, police continued to search Robinson’s home and discovered her body hidden in a bedroom.

“She was found underneath a mattress and some bedding,” DelCalzo said.

As of Thursday afternoon, the police chief said a firearm was not believed to be involved. The Lake County Coroner’s Office stated the cause of death was undetermined.

“In my time here in Madison, about 28 years, we’ve maybe had two murders, one in 1987 that was a murder-suicide, but as in association with a robbery, it’s been quite a few years,” DelCalzo said. “I’m sure there had to have been one, but not in my tenure as I can recall.”

Anyone with information about this case, or that may have located the red, 1995 Plymouth Voyager, license plate BV81VT, should call 911 or (440) 428-2116.

Francis is a freelance writer.

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