Creek Combed for Clues in Westwood Murder

The investigation into the murder of a Westwood mother took police to the Mill Creek Thursday morning.

"This is just a location that we understand has had, has possibly had, things thrown in in the past, so it may be a shot in the dark, but it's some place we need to check," said Lt. Kurt Byrd. "We need to uncover anything we can."

At 11:45 a.m. Monday, paramedics responding to a 5-year-old girl's 911 call found the body of Sara Ridder inside her Westwood apartment on Ferguson Road. The 24-year-old police dispatcher and daughter of former union president, Pete Ridder, suffered injuries to the head, however the cause of death remains unconfirmed.

One neighbor allegedly heard a loud bang resembling a gunshot around 3 a.m. Another reported screams 15 minutes later.

Ridder recently installed an alarm system in the home for protection against her ex-boyfriend and three children's father, William Boyles. He went to prison in 1999 for domestic violence and into custody again last month for the same offense. According to police records, Boyles punched Ridder in the face, knocking her to the ground, and threatened to use a knife.

"She wanted him out of her life," claimed her father. "She got on as a 911 operator a couple years ago and I think she got her confidence back and she said I don't need this guy, I don't need this."

Boyles wore an electronic ankle device designed to sound an alarm if he went within 500 feet of Ridder.

"I think it's as fool-proof as an alibi can be," claimed defense attorney Richard Goldberg. "Not only are there people that are able to verify that he was home, but there's also this equipment that verifies he didn't tamper with it and he didn't leave his house."

During a search of the home Boyles often stayed with his mother, police confiscated a computer and briefly looked in an outdoor pool. While he remains in custody on $600,000 bond for violating a probation only, Ridder's father plans to focus on Friday's funeral and leave the investigation to his former co-workers.

"Always remind them that they have your support and your love and keep telling them that because you just don't know when they're going to be taken from you," he added.

Anyone with information about Ridder's death should call CrimeStoppers at 513-352-3040.