CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It took 26 years, but diligent work by investigators with the Geauga County Sherrif’s office ended with the arrest of Gail Eastwood-Ritchey of Euclid, who police said admitted leaving her newborn in a plastic bag in a wooded area just after he was born in 1993.
In Eastwood-Ritchey’s Euclid neighborhood her friends, including Charleas and Diane Hendon, were beyond stunned to learn of these horrifying developments.
“Ever since we’ve been over here, they’ve been in the church, there kids were raised up with our kids, they played all the time in the yard,” Charles Hendon said.
Geauga County deputies followed up on hundreds of leads over the years trying to determine who discarded the baby, dubbed “Geauga’s Child” by investigators, and it wasn’t until the evolving use of DNA ancestry companies, that they were able to start piecing the case together.
19 News went to the home of Eastwood-Ritchey and were told that the family would not be answering any questions.
In the Euclid neighborhood the sadness was overwhelming for people who had known Eastwood-Ritchey for years and were struggling to comprehend the news.
“I talk to her all the time about our children, because they grew up together,” Diane Hendon said, “I can’t believe that, oh my, God.”
Deputies say they were stunned that Eastwood-Ritchey showed no remorse after admitting her horrific crime.