BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Hamilton Police have announced they have enough evidence to indict their primary suspect in the CJ Sandle murder case, but say the accused killer cannot face charges because he is deceased.
Sandle was killed on Jan. 13, 2016 in his family’s home in Hamilton. Investigators said someone broke into the house and fatally shot Sandle while he was sleeping in his bed.
Sandle’s mother, Rebecca Sandle, and Sandle’s sister were also both asleep inside the home at the time. Neither were harmed.
Sandle died just days after his 20th birthday.
“I miss him every day,” Rebecca said. “Sometimes I just don’t even believe that he’s gone.”
Rebecca has been beyond heartbroken over Sandle’s brutal death.
“Her life has changed so much since this has happened,” Rachel McCoy, a family friend, said.
In 2020, detectives revealed they had a suspect and a motive in the case. Now they have confirmed they believe they know who pulled the trigger and killed Sandle.
At this point, investigators tell FOX19 NOW they have enough evidence to move forward with an indictment but are unable to do so because the accused killer is dead.
“If this perpetrator were not deceased, we’d be seeking an indictment for their arrest and charge them with murder,” Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said.
Police are not releasing the name of the suspect since he is not alive to defend himself. Rebecca describes it as bittersweet because she wanted the chance to see the man accused of murdering her son convicted in court.
“I wanted to be able to look them in the face and see the pain of what they took from me,” Rebecca said.
Police are not sharing details about the motive, but said the investigation is still open. They believe that others may have been involved with Sandle’s murder, and that means charges could be coming down the line.
“We think there are people who had information or provided information or assistance either before or after the murder,” Chief Bucheit said.
Always an advocate for her son, Rebecca plans to keep Sandle’s memory alive as best she knows how, and she said her fight for justice is far from over.
“It’s not enough with just knowing that murderer, I want them all,” Rebecca said. “I want every last one of them, and I’m not going to stop until I get them.”
Hamilton Police said they hope Rebecca takes comfort in these latest developments.
Rebecca honors Sandle on the anniversary of his death every year with a “Random Act of Kindness Day” where she takes part in acts of kindness and encourages others in the community to do the same.
Anyone with information on the case is urged to call Hamilton Police 513-868-5811.
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