Woman charged in mysterious death of former Green Township police officer

Woman indicted in death of former Green Township police officer

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A woman faces charges related to the death of a former Green Township police officer in March after a grand jury indicted her Tuesday.

Richard VandeRyt was a police officer, a firefighter, a defense attorney and, according to his sister, Angela Schmidt, a “good soul,” both generous and loving.

He died March 16.

The indictment says Amanda Witt caused VandeRyt’s death by “inducing or causing” him to use fentanyl, causing him “serious harm or to become drug dependent.”

The indictment charges Witt with involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence and corrupting another with drugs.

“This whole situation is just kind of weird for us,” Schmidt said. “We would just like to have some clarity as far as that goes.”

For now, clarity is in short supply. VandeRyt was not only a member of law enforcement, he was a former D.A.R.E officer and even ran for Hamilton County sheriff in 2016. That he would turn to drugs confounds his family.

“It feels so odd,” Schmidt said. “Richard was so against drugs, totally against drugs.”

More, Schmidt says she doesn’t know Witt’s relation to her brother. In fact, she says she’s never heard of the woman charged in connection with his death.

An incident report from Green Township police says an officer performed CPR on VandeRyt shortly after midnight on March 16. It says the fire department took over, but first responders were unable to revive him.

“I would like to know what his last moments were like,” Schmidt said. “Was he happy? What did he say? That type of thing.”

Although his death is tragic, Schmidt wants people to remember her brother for his service to the community.

“I was quite proud of him, quite proud of him,” she said. “He accomplished a lot in a short span of time.”

Witt is currently at the Hamilton County Justice Center. Her next court date is scheduled for Aug. 14.

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