OH OH - Carnell Sledge, 40, & Katherine Brown, 33, shot dead in park, Cleveland, 4 Jun 2019

AFoxInSocks

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@GoBuckeyes, as far the gunshot, I suppose anything is possible? But from what I'm understanding, if it was a smaller caliber gun, it may not have made a significant amount of noise, especially if you factor in all the cars going by on the road (which is maybe 60-70 ft from the bench). The man on his computer was in the pull-off lot, maybe 40ft feet or so from the bench. However, there is a large tree that, if parked just right, could reasonably obscure a direct line of sight to the bench. Had this man been paying attention, IMO, it would have been impossible for someone to move in on Kate and Nell and move away afterward without being seen by him, though.

I do not believe anyone stopped anywhere prior to meeting at the park. If they did, police have not shared any surveillance they have. To my knowledge, Kate came from her apt. I don't know for sure with Nell, but I believe he came from work.

Rage is an interesting theory and one I think about a lot! I keep thinking about the case of 6yr old Aiden Leo who was shot and killed in a road rage incident last month. Both heartbreaking and terrifying! But perhaps Kate or Nell angered someone while driving to the park and someone took their rage out on them? It's hard for me to imagine this being a premeditated act. Even if, say, someone who knew either of them followed one of them with intent to harm, once they saw where they were going, wouldn't they have second thoughts or fear being caught? Regardless, I also find it hard to believe anyone they knew would want to harm either of them anyway.

This is all just speculation. I'm not in LE, I'm not a psychologist, and since I don't have the capacity to murder, it's hard for me to ever imagine what someone is thinking when taking another life.
 

GoBuckeyes

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@GoBuckeyes, as far the gunshot, I suppose anything is possible? But from what I'm understanding, if it was a smaller caliber gun, it may not have made a significant amount of noise, especially if you factor in all the cars going by on the road (which is maybe 60-70 ft from the bench). The man on his computer was in the pull-off lot, maybe 40ft feet or so from the bench. However, there is a large tree that, if parked just right, could reasonably obscure a direct line of sight to the bench. Had this man been paying attention, IMO, it would have been impossible for someone to move in on Kate and Nell and move away afterward without being seen by him, though.

I do not believe anyone stopped anywhere prior to meeting at the park. If they did, police have not shared any surveillance they have. To my knowledge, Kate came from her apt. I don't know for sure with Nell, but I believe he came from work.

Rage is an interesting theory and one I think about a lot! I keep thinking about the case of 6yr old Aiden Leo who was shot and killed in a road rage incident last month. Both heartbreaking and terrifying! But perhaps Kate or Nell angered someone while driving to the park and someone took their rage out on them? It's hard for me to imagine this being a premeditated act. Even if, say, someone who knew either of them followed one of them with intent to harm, once they saw where they were going, wouldn't they have second thoughts or fear being caught? Regardless, I also find it hard to believe anyone they knew would want to harm either of them anyway.

This is all just speculation. I'm not in LE, I'm not a psychologist, and since I don't have the capacity to murder, it's hard for me to ever imagine what someone is thinking when taking another life.

You are right. I would think that the perpetrator in a road rage incident would lose courage when seeing where they were going.

What about mistaken identity? Do you know if LE has considered that angle? We don't have access to BMV records (that would be nice!). But I wonder if an owner of the same make, model, and color vehicle that one of the victims drove might have been involved in drug or gang activity? I'm trying to think of any motivation that hasn't been considered. This is terrible.

Lastly, the gentleman in his car on the computer, what do police know about him? Do you know how thoroughly vetted he was?
 

AFoxInSocks

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@GoBuckeyes, I think at this point, anything is possible and have to assume all leads have been (or are being) vetted. If LE does have anything, they are keeping it close to the vest. But yes, I suppose mistaken identity is possible!

The motivation angle is troubling - what would motivate someone to kill in broad daylight in a public area? To me, it's either someone who's incapable of comprehending the brazen nature of the attack (so a mental disorder or some sort), OR someone with a level of such uncontrolled rage, they didn't care about the location. To be fair though, I have very little knowledge as to how gangs operate, so I'm not sure if this type of crime is not uncommon for gang activity. Also, there are plenty of instances of gun violence being carried out by someone who woke up and decided he/she wanted to shoot someone that day. Sadly, it happens.

I don't know specifically how well the man in his car was vetted. I have to assume he was? I know LE has a list of suspects, but I don't know if he is or was ever on it. For me, him not seeing anything seems feasible, given the large tree that sits at an angle from the pull-off lot. It could have obscured his line of sight. On the surface, it seems improbable for him not to see something, but if he was focused on whatever he was doing, he might have been oblivious to things going on around him. And I know this isn't admissible in court, but I often think of what this person could maybe recall under hypnosis or something!
 

AFoxInSocks

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For any of you still following along, there's an interview Kate's sister does with an investigator. I'm not really familiar with the person, but Alex shares a lot of anecdotal thoughts and "evidence" not really known or detailed to the public. She speculates a lot (although prefaces these speculations).

My concern with posting the link in this forum is that she says names (including some full names) of possible persons of interest, and the person does not bleep them out. Not sure that's allowable here? I have refrained from sharing any of that myself as a person of interest is NOT a suspect. There are, as of today, still no suspects.

If I can't post, I can provide a summary that omits any names or identifiers of these individuals.
 
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Betty P

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For any of you still following along, there's an interview Kate's sister does with an investigative YouTuber. I'm not really familiar with the person or their Youtube channel, but Alex shares a lot of anecdotal thoughts and "evidence" not really known or detailed to the public. She speculates a lot (although prefaces these speculations).

My concern with posting the link in this forum is that she says names (including some full names) of possible persons of interest, and the YouTuber does not bleep them out. Not sure that's allowable here? I have refrained from sharing any of that myself as a person of interest is NOT a suspect. There are, as of today, still no suspects.

If I can't post, I can provide a summary that omits any names or identifiers of these individuals.

Has LE named a person of interest? If so, it's ok to discuss that here at WS, as long as the person of interest has been publicly named by LE.

If you're referring to the Gray Hughes video, he's usually ok with WS, but you should ask a Mod anyway.
 

Betty P

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Thanks, @Betty P!

No persons of interest have been named publicly, which made me question it. Perhaps a summary would be best!

I'm listening now, part way into the interview. There is some relevant, interesting information about Kate's relationships. JMO

If you have the time, can you check with a Mod and see if they think it would be ok to link the video? WS and Tricia are familiar with Gray Hughes and his interviews have been linked here in the past, particularly on the Abby & Libby kidnap and murder case.

ETA: Kate's sister does confirm her relationship with Carnell was and always had been platonic. They were just good friends.
 
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AFoxInSocks

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I'm listening now, part way into the interview. There is some relevant, interesting information about Kate's relationships. JMO

If you have the time, can you check with a Mod and see if they think it would be ok to link the video? WS and Tricia are familiar with Gray Hughes and his interviews have been linked here in the past, particularly on the Abby & Libby kidnap and murder case.

ETA: Kate's sister does confirm her relationship with Carnell was and always had been platonic. They were just good friends.

I'll do so - thank you!

And yes, Kate and Nell were friends and always had been just friends. He was much more of a mentor figure, a guide, a confidant, and someone who had been in the picture throughout her struggles.
 

Here_I_Am

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Not really an update, but investigators are taking a fresh look at the case and have had several meeting about investigative strategies going forward.

 

Betty P

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Not really an update, but investigators are taking a fresh look at the case and have had several meeting about investigative strategies going forward.


Tom Brown, Kate’s father, said, “Well, they had a meeting with the FBI the first week of April. We were told they’d get back in touch with us.”

Tom added, “We don’t care how it gets done. Let’s get it done.”

Well, the families sound a little impatient, but optimistic. It sounds like they're going to look at some different things, hard to say. I hope there hasn't been a disagreement over "turf", etc.

I have a hunch there's more about this murder than they've made public, possibly some investigative avenues we're not aware of that they hadn't pursued before. IDK, just a feeling.
 

Here_I_Am

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I listened to the above-referenced interview with Kate's sister, Alex. It's hard to watch/listen to because of all the stream notifications from the live recording and the host arguing with people in the chat. But she definitely adds some detail and insight that isn't out there.

She says Kate left work around 2:30, went home and worked out at the apartment rec center and then was seen arguing/upset on the phone around 4:30. The phone records show she was talking with Carnell. She then had 2 additional calls with him before they met up at the park around 5:05. She didn't have phone tracking on and she said the cell phone pings at the park and her apartment are the same tower. We don't really get any more information from the sister about why she might be arguing or upset on the phone.

Carnell had left work and was seen on some camera not too long after separating from a friend that was driving behind him. The timeline indicates he went straight to the park. His mother said that he was supposed to be at his grandmother's house for a dinner he had set up with his family at that hour.

This investigation, according to her, was over the heads of the Metroparks police. The roofer (who was 100 feet away in the small parking lot doing paperwork) saw Carnell and Kate leave their cars, but didn't see anything else or hear the gunshots. She said they let him go that evening after minimal discussion. She said they did a test with the windows closed and A/C on and that it was plausible that if you weren't listening for it, you wouldn't hear a small-caliber gun go off.

As mentioned, she gives names of people that could be involved. I know I'm not allowed to do that here, but there's one ex-partner of each victim that she believes have acted suspiciously since the murders. In fact, the things she says about one of those people lead me to believe she thinks they are the killer. It's quite disturbing actually.
 

JaimeInLA

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Regarding a robbery gone bad - it's definitely been thought about, only nothing was stolen off either Nell or Kate nor was anything taken from their cars. It's just odd to think that someone would try to rob two people, in broad daylight, in a public area where other cars are parked and driving so closely. But I also remind myself that ANYONE capable of murder is behaving in ways I could never wrapped my head around, so...

Hate crime is an interesting theory. And as @everybodhi showed, it's not a pretty story in Ohio and seems to get paid very little mind... (and to your point, our state officials are more likely to be members!) :p But if it was a hate crime, IMO, would mean it was a crime of opportunity and Kate and Nell just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If this was the case, I don't think it was as though someone went to the park, waiting to commit a crime (it's not a diverse enough area to sit and wait, IMO), but rather saw them arrive and found an opportunity. Maybe the person(s) was already there when they arrived or came by shortly after.

It's really a shame so little is seemingly being done about hate crimes in Ohio. :(

I just keep thinking that someone saw or heard something. IMO, if the perpetrator(s) arrived by car, I would have to think the gentleman who was already there would have seen or heard the call pull in or drive away. Only 6 cars or so can fit in the parking area, and since Kate and Nell drove separate, there would have only been a few available spots left. If they arrived on foot, they could have easily walked away, relatively undetected as a person visiting the park; however, the walking trail is actually across the main road and 20+ feet or so into the woods. So it would have had to be someone just walking along the side of the road/thru the grassy areas on the opposite side of the street, OR someone trying to cross the road during rush hour. I guess they could have jumped down the river bank and trudged along that area. It's maybe a 4ft drop near the bench where they were found from the ground into the river. Maybe even swam across and up the banks on the other side. But with the kayakers having come upon their bodies so quickly, I would think anyone trying to evade detection within the river walls would have been seen by them? This is why I think having those signs up are SO IMPORTANT - someone may have seen someone walking along the road (vs the path), or someone climbing out of the river bed, or trying to cross the road, etc. Maybe they were wearing something odd for the park or for June in Cleveland - someone running/walking fast in work clothes, wearing a hoodie in 85 degree weather, hiding his/her face, acting odd, etc. I just wish there was a way to better communicate to the public that any little tip, even if they don't think it's important, could be key!
If there’s a 4 foot ledge between the water level and the grass in the park, how did the kayakers see the bodies?

Not to be graphic, but I assume the bodies didn’t remain on the bench. They probably fell onto the ground after being shot. It seems weird to me that the kayakers would spot them if the embankment is that tall.

(My dad owns kayaks and frequents the Rocky River. I was wondering if it’s possible the murderer approached & escaped via the water.)
 

Here_I_Am

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If there’s a 4 foot ledge between the water level and the grass in the park, how did the kayakers see the bodies?

Not to be graphic, but I assume the bodies didn’t remain on the bench. They probably fell onto the ground after being shot. It seems weird to me that the kayakers would spot them if the embankment is that tall.

(My dad owns kayaks and frequents the Rocky River. I was wondering if it’s possible the murderer approached & escaped via the water.)
The kayakers were not kayaking when they found the bodies. I've wondered about this, too, but I read an article recently (I'll try to find which one) that quoted one of the kayakers. That article made it clear they were arriving to kayak via car when they saw Carnell lying on the ground near the water. When they got closer to see if he was OK, they saw he was dead and then noticed Kate in/near the water. Seems like she tried to escape at the last second after the attacker shot Carnell.
 

Betty P

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The kayakers were not kayaking when they found the bodies. I've wondered about this, too, but I read an article recently (I'll try to find which one) that quoted one of the kayakers. That article made it clear they were arriving to kayak via car when they saw Carnell lying on the ground near the water. When they got closer to see if he was OK, they saw he was dead and then noticed Kate in/near the water. Seems like she tried to escape at the last second after the attacker shot Carnell.

Thanks for that info. This seems to be another of those cases where LE is sharing so little information with the public that its nearly impossible for anyone to generate a tip or suggestion.

JMO, there's more information that could help. As much as I'd like to see this case solved, it seems unlikely. FBI seems to be trying lately.
 

AFoxInSocks

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Thanks for that info. This seems to be another of those cases where LE is sharing so little information with the public that its nearly impossible for anyone to generate a tip or suggestion.

JMO, there's more information that could help. As much as I'd like to see this case solved, it seems unlikely. FBI seems to be trying lately.

I think tip generation in this instance is tricky - a speeding car, someone running, someone walking, someone parking, etc., are ALL things people could see when in the park. I've often wondered if people saw something but didn't/don't even realize it because it didn't appear out of place. Maybe I'm just trying to make excuses - obviously we want this solved! But perhaps it was so casual in appearance, no one thought otherwise?

There's a part of me that hopes LE knows more, but isn't releasing details for their own reasons; yet there's another part that wonders if giving the public a little more info would result in more tips!
 

Betty P

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I think tip generation in this instance is tricky - a speeding car, someone running, someone walking, someone parking, etc., are ALL things people could see when in the park. I've often wondered if people saw something but didn't/don't even realize it because it didn't appear out of place. Maybe I'm just trying to make excuses - obviously we want this solved! But perhaps it was so casual in appearance, no one thought otherwise?

There's a part of me that hopes LE knows more, but isn't releasing details for their own reasons; yet there's another part that wonders if giving the public a little more info would result in more tips!

JMO, LE does know more and possibly have some fairly good digital/electronic evidence. Part of the problem may be with the prosecutor's office. There are quite a few cases that go cold in this county. JMO
 

JaimeInLA

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The kayakers were not kayaking when they found the bodies. I've wondered about this, too, but I read an article recently (I'll try to find which one) that quoted one of the kayakers. That article made it clear they were arriving to kayak via car when they saw Carnell lying on the ground near the water. When they got closer to see if he was OK, they saw he was dead and then noticed Kate in/near the water. Seems like she tried to escape at the last second after the attacker shot Carnell.
Oh wow. I had not even considered that possibility. Thanks for this information. Talked to my dad about this case last night, and he said he’s always wondered if the killer used a motorcycle to get in and out of there quickly and I noticed
 

JaimeInLA

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Are there no traffic cameras at all in the metro parks?
 

Here_I_Am

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@Betty P @JaimeInLA Here's the article: 'I was just shocked that we were the first ones to see them': Man who found bodies in Rocky River Reservation speaks out

***

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — One of the kayakers who found the bodies of Carnell Sledge, 40, and Katherine Brown, 33, in the Rocky River Reservation is speaking publicly for the first time.

“It was 5:20 in the afternoon 75 degrees out and there was plenty of traffic, people running, people on bikes, people driving by and I was just shocked that we were the first ones to see them,” he says.

He didn’t want to be identified but says he and his girlfriend were just arriving at the park to kayak when they saw a man lying next to a bench and went to see if he was okay.

“Immediately I noticed there was some blood splatter on the ground and then I turned around to my girlfriend and I told her to call the police.”

He says he walked around frantically for a moment and pulled his phone out to start calling the police.

“That’s when I noticed there was another person on the scene and she was face down in the water on the riverbank.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

The incident happened on June 4th near the Lorain Road bridge, east of Valley Parkway.

Investigators have insisted this is an isolated incident and the Metroparks are safe.

“It seems like it could’ve been an isolated incident to me and it looked like maybe they were targeted rather than this being a serial killer,” says the kayaker.

“My heart goes out to the family.”
 
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