William “Bill” Comeans (Jan 11, 1965 – Jan 7, 1980)

William "Bill" ComeansWilliam “Bill” Comeans (Jan 11, 1965 – Jan 7, 1980) is the case of the month for February 2014.

Comeans’ body was found by his dad just a block away from his home in West Columbus, Ohio. He had been strangled with his own scarf. His killer was never found.

Comeans had been attacked twice before but those times he managed to escape sadly, without seeing the attacker(s). The day he was killed, he was walking two doors down to pick up his sister. After Bill’s death, his family received anonymous threats in the mail.

From TV10: “He had a scarf tied around his neck,” Comeans Park [Bill’s father] said. The scarf was tied so tightly that Comeans Park said another brother, Mike, had to use a pocket knife to cut it off.

Detectives in 1980 at first thought Bill’s death was accidental. Investigators said they found no sign of a struggle, and Bill was not robbed. But that changed once the coroner took a closer look and an autopsy revealed that Bill died of cardiac arrest due to compression of the neck.

Today, Det. Chuck Clark with the Franklin County Sheriff’s office is working the cold case. Clark said that the coroner also noted petechial hemorrhaging, proving Bill was most likely strangled. A knife also was found at the scene where Bill was found murdered.

Det. Clark recently sent the knife to the state crime lab in London for DNA testing, along with a beer bottle also found near Bill’s body. The scarf that was cut away from Bill’s neck was also sent for testing.

The scarf should definitely be examined with the M-Vac. There is a good chance that touch DNA can be found on the scarf’s ends.

When Bill was a freshman, he was bullied and attacked from behind twice, read that here. On both occasions, he was nearly strangled to death. The first attack was by two men who jumped on him during his paper route. They put a plastic garbage bag over his head. Then they wrapped the inner tube of a bicycle tire around his neck. The second attack was again by two men who this time jumped out of an “aqua-colored car.” They tied a rope around Bill’s neck and left him under a tree. Comeans passed out for several hours. When he regained consciousness he walked home.

Maybe these attacks are related. It just tells me that whoever was responsible knew the Comeans family, lived close enough to see Bill alone on the streets, and knew the area so well that they could get away fast.

In an effort to get renewed media attention for her brother’s case, his sister Kathleen, the one he was picking up, started to use social media. She opened a Facebook page, uploaded videos to YouTube, and opened a Twitter account.

In 2016, the Kernel Magazine posted: “The state crime lab said the results of the DNA samples would be released at the start of 2013, when more advanced technology would be made available. To date, the samples have not yet been tested.

According to Jill Del Greco, the public information officer for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, while the Ohio state crime lab has a turnaround of approximately 20–25 days for most DNA results, it’s fairly common for DNA samples from older or cold cases to be suspended for better testing technology, as it “could result in the return of useful results in situations where current testing might not.”

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department would not comment or release records related to the case, on the grounds that it is still an active investigation.”

If you have any information please contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s office at (614) 525-3350.

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In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis and of course, sometimes more information can be found online and in newspaper archives. The goal of these posts is to get the cases back in the spotlights, to get people talking again, and if anything to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are cold does not mean that we can forget about them.

If you have any thoughts about this case I encourage you to post them on your own social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc. Every time that we mention victims’ names online we enhance their digital footprint.

We must make sure that William “Bill” Comeans keeps his web presence if we ever wish to find answers in this case. You can help by linking to or sharing this post.

Thank you for remembering William “Bill” Comeans with us.

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  1. […] about more than 130 unsolved homicides and wrongful convictions. The Case of the Month was Bill Comeans. I had extensive discussions with my friend Jared Bradley, the CEO/President of M-Vac Systems. We […]