Family of Hillsboro man missing from Liberty Township pleading for answers 17 years later

Family pleading for answers 17 years after man's suspicious disappearance

HIGHLAND COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Seventeen years after Shane Neuhaus disappeared, his family members say they just want to bring him home.

Neuhaus’ mother, Joyce Poe, and his sister, Erin Neuhaus, describe Shane as fun-loving. When he was a child, they say he loved to laugh and enjoyed playing pranks on people.

“He was just a delight to be around and loved sports, loved different things,” Poe said.

As Neuhaus grew older, Poe said he started going down a troubled path. When she moved to Georgia, Neuhaus stayed in Highland County with other relatives.

In September 2003, Neuhaus, then 35, disappeared.

Investigators say a man named Shawn Deardoff attacked Neuhaus in Liberty Township, and that was the last time Neuhaus was seen alive.

“The first ten years I couldn’t even talk about it because if I mentioned it, I would melt into a puddle,” Poe said.

In 2005, a possible lead came to light. Highland County Sheriff’s Office deputies unearthed the bodies of two women. Michael Fogt was found responsible for the crimes and is now serving prison time.

Deputies said then that they had found evidence linking Fogt to Neuhaus.

“He was an employee of a gentleman who was later found to have killed two women [Fogt],” Erin said.

Fogt was questioned, investigators said, and there were searches for Neuhaus, but no charges have ever been filed.

“It kind of is an open wound, and so to be able to find him, we would be able to begin, to start that healing process,” Erin said.

Erin and Poe said they have accepted that Neuhaus is likely no longer alive. All they want now is the chance to lay him to rest.

“There’s never more than a day or two that goes by that I don’t think of him and wonder where he is,” Poe said.

Fogt is currently in the Pickaway Correctional Institution, serving time for the murders of two women. He has never been charged for anything related to Neuhaus’ case.

The Highland County Sheriff said there are no updates on Neuhaus’ case, but anyone with information can call (937) 393-1421.

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